The white St. Louis couple who went viral for brandishing guns on Black Lives Matter marchers in their tony neigborhood are supporters of the movement and are longtime civil rights activists, their attorney said.
Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife, Patricia, 61, insisted that they back the movement despite video of them wielding rifles outside their mansion Sunday night at protesters heading toward the mayor’s home to demand her resignation.
“The most important thing for them is that their images (holding the guns) don’t become the basis for a rallying cry for people who oppose the Black Lives Matter message,” their attorney Albert Watkins said.
“They want to make it really clear that they believe the Black Lives Matter message is important.”
Watkins said the couple grabbed a semiautomatic rifle and a silver pistol when two or three protesters — who were white — violently threatened them and their property.
He insisted the husband and wife, who are both personal injury lawyers, “acted lawfully” out of “fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race-related,” the St. Louis Today reported.
Mark previously described the incident in the city’s well-to-do Central West End neighborhood as akin to the “storming of the Bastille.”
“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened,” he told local NBC affiliate KDSK.
“It was, it was about as bad as it can get. I mean, those 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.
St. Louis Prosecutor Kimberly Gardner said Monday that the couple is being investigated for possible criminal charges.
“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns,” Gardner said.
“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.”
The marchers on Sunday were protesting against Mayor Lyda Krewson for reading on Facebook Live the names and addresses of several residents who wrote letters to call for defunding the police department.
With Post Wires