St. Louis attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey went viral when they stood in front of their million-dollar home with firearms and confronted protesters — but now Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has vowed to have them investigated.
The McCloskeys, Mark armed with a rifle and Patricia with a handgun, stood outside as protesters marched by on the way to Democratic St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home. The protesters had broken down a gate to march onto the private drive — and McCloskey repeatedly yelled at them that it was private property. (RELATED: Armed St. Louis Couple Who Defended Their Home During Protest Are Representing A Police Brutality Victim In Court)
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in regards to events over weekend: pic.twitter.com/KqqFHIvL9Q
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) June 29, 2020
The statement read:
I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a 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. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and we will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.
The St. Louis Police Department is reportedly investigating the incident as a “fourth-degree assault by intimidation.”
Police investigating the St Louis incident are considering it a case of “fourth-degree assault by intimidation” — by the protesters. https://t.co/DhxX8bEkEe
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) June 29, 2020
St. Louis University constitutional law Professor Anders Walker told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that if anyone broke the law, it was the protesters. Portland Place, where the McCloskeys live, is a private, gated street and the protesters were trespassing at the time of the confrontation.
Further context shows that the protesters were trespassing on a private street when the St. Louis couple pulled out their guns to defend their home
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 29, 2020
“There’s no right to protest on those streets. The protesters thought they had a right to protest, but as a technical matter, they were not allowed to be there,” Walker explained. “It’s essentially a private estate. If anyone was violating the law, it was the protesters. In fact, if (the McCloskeys) have photos of the protesters, they could go after them for trespassing.”
Walker also noted that Missouri’s Castle Doctrine allows homeowners to use deadly force when their lives and property are being threatened. “At any point that you enter the property, they can then, in Missouri, use deadly force to get you off the lawn,” he said.