St. Louis cou­ple charged for wav­ing guns

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - BY JIM SALTER

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis’ top pros­e­cu­tor on Mon­day charged a hus­band and wife with felony un­law­ful use of a weapon for dis­play­ing guns dur­ing a racial in­jus­tice protest out­side their man­sion.

Mark and Pa­tri­cia McCloskey, who are white, are both per­sonal in­jury at­tor­neys in their 60s. Cir­cuit At­tor­ney Kim Gard­ner told The As­so­ci­ated Press that their ac­tions risked cre­at­ing a vi­o­lent sit­u­a­tion dur­ing an oth­er­wise non­vi­o­lent protest last month.

“It is il­le­gal to wave weapons in a threat­en­ing man­ner — that is un­law­ful in the city of St. Louis,” Gard­ner said.

An at­tor­ney for the cou­ple, Joel Schwartz, in a state­ment called the de­ci­sion to charge “dis­heart­en­ing as I un­equiv­o­cally be­lieve no crime was com­mit­ted.”

Sup­port­ers of the McCloskeys said they were legally de­fend­ing their $1.15 mil­lion home.

Sev­eral Repub­li­can lead­ers have con­demned Gard­ner’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, Mis­souri Gov. Mike Par­son and Sen. Josh Haw­ley, who has urged At­tor­ney Gen­eral Wil­liam Barr to un­der­take a civil rights in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Gard­ner.

Mis­souri At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­mitt said in a state­ment Mon­day that he filed a brief re­quest­ing that the charges be dis­missed.

“The right to keep and bear arms is given the high­est level of pro­tec­tion in our con­sti­tu­tion and our laws, in­clud­ing the Cas­tle Doc­trine,” Sch­mitt said. “This pro­vides broad rights to Mis­souri­ans who are pro­tect­ing their prop­erty and lives from those who wish to do them harm.”

LAU­RIE SKRIVAN/ST. LOUIS POST-DIS­PATCH VIA AP

Mark and Pa­tri­cia McCloskey, stand­ing in front of their house, con­front pro­test­ers on June 28.

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