A husband and wife from St. Louis are defending their decision to pull firearms on a large group of Black Lives Matter agitators Sunday night.
In a viral video of the encounter, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both personal injury lawyers, are seen pulling a rifle and a handgun on a leftist mob.
Leftists on Twitter are offended that this home owner stepped outside with a gun to prevent Black Lives Matter protestors from storming his home in St Louis. Good for him. pic.twitter.com/qCszCoTmdI
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 29, 2020
The McCloskeys defended their decision to draw firearms because their home is on a private street. In fact, another video of the incident shows the group of agitators breaking through a gate in order to enter the private street.
Once they cross that gate they appear to be trespassing on private property pic.twitter.com/4DsH4roBYS
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 29, 2020
The Black Lives Matter activists were angry at Mayor Lyda Krewson for reading aloud the names and addresses of several residents who wrote letters in support of defunding the police department. The group was on its way to Krewson’s residence when it passed by the McCloskey household.
“A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear of our lives,” Mark McCloskey told KMOV, a local media outlet.
“This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds, our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob,” he added.
Police said the man and woman told the marchers to leave because they were on a private street. But people in the crowd yelled obscenities and threats, police said. The man and woman said they saw people who were armed, so they armed themselves and called police, according to authorities.
In another interview Monday, McCloskey reemphasized the fact that “everything inside the Portland Place gate is private property.”
“There is nothing public in Portland Place. Being inside that gate is like being in my living room. There is no public anything in Portland Place. It is all private property. And you’ve got to appreciate that if there are two or three hundred people, I don’t know how many there were. We were told that 500 people showed up at the Lyda Krewson house,” he continued.
McCloskey said some in the crowd were making “aggressive” comments and threatened to move into his home after killing him and his wife.
“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with our house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was about as bad as it can get. I mean, you know, I really thought it was Storming the Bastille – that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it,” he added.
“They storm in angry and shouting and threatening. This isn’t a protest. It’s a revolution. It’s just an attempt to inflict terror,” he said.
Investigation into homeowners
Several conservative commentators have pointed out that Missouri state law recognizes the “castle doctrine,” which broadly states that if a defendant is in his home, he is not required to retreat prior to using deadly force in self-defense.
A 2016 bill passed by the Missouri General Assembly “all but removes the legal need to retreat before using deadly force,” according to Shane Cantin, a Missouri-based attorney with Carver, Cantin & Mynarich LLC.
However, the McCloskeys were on private property but outside their home during the Sunday night incident.
Bill Hennessy, a Catholic, conservative blogger based in St. Louis, said “these laws are always difficult because it’s not until they get into court with the details of the case that you really understand what’s going on.”
“Most of these laws are fairly new. They’re based on common law, but they’ve been revised in so many states recently that I don’t know how many cases have actually been through an appeals process and been better defined based on various circumstances in the case,” he said, suggesting the McCloskeys could be protected by Missouri’s “no duty to retreat” law.
Kimberly Gardner, circuit attorney for St. Louis, said in a statement released Monday that she is investigating the McCloskeys for their “threat of deadly force.”
“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated. My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events,” she said.
Gardner said she “will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights,” and vowed to “use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in regards to events over weekend: pic.twitter.com/KqqFHIvL9Q
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) June 29, 2020
Hennessy called Gardner “one of the most corrupt public officials in the United States.”
“She’s currently under an ongoing DOJ investigation – felony investigation – for tampering with evidence, lying under oath, and numerous other felonies,” he said. “It’s kind of like hiring Charles Manson to babysit your kids.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Image “Mark McCloskey Defends His Home” by The Conservador.