Aracist, gun-toting St. Louis couple who aimed weapons at peaceful protesters marching to highlight America’s continued injustices and racial violence, were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey now face felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The indictments were filed under seal after the presiding judge ordered the action.
In July the McCloskey’s were each charged with one single felony count of unlawful use of a weapon. The evidence tampering charge was added with the grand jury indictment. Their reckless actions stem from a June 28 march where Mark McCloskey, 63, pointed an AR-15 rifle at protesters and Patricia McCloskey, 61, wielded a semiautomatic handgun.
Protesters were en route to demonstrate in front of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home who resides on Portland Place, a private gated street. Activists and organizers demanded her resignation after Krewson logged onto social media to read the names and addresses of her critics who called for city council members to defund the police.
The couple continuously argues they were well within their right to protect their property because they are Krewson’s neighbors. The McClokseys deferred to the age-old stereotype of framing Black people as dangerous, claiming they were in fear of their lives after protesters entered the street.
While they continue framing the protesters as violent, no evidence exists to affirm their point.
The McClokseys profited and gained national exposure, appearing on CNN and other news outlets defending their position to brandish the weapons.
“They are appalled that they have been portrayed in a fashion which they believe is going to be used by some to support the position that its time to grab the Confederate flag and grab a gun and protect ourselves against the BLM movement,” their attorney Albert Watkins said in a July interview with USA Today. “My clients know that they looked like lunatics.”
They both categorically deny being racist, but yet made a televised speech at the Republican National Convention in support of Trump, aligning themselves with the racist ideology and hate speech Trump spews along with his administration.
Mark McCloskey doubled down regarding the couple’s and innocence and campaigned for city officials to bring trespassing charges against the protesters earlier this summer. Nine protesters were issued summons but the city counselor declined to pursue charges.
The government chooses to persecute us for doing no more than exercising our right to defend ourselves, our home, our property and our family and now we’re getting drug here time after time after time and for what?” Mark McCloskey said. “We didn’t fire a shot. People were violently protesting in front of our house and screaming death threats and threats of rape and threats of arson. Nobody gets charged but we get charged.”
And unfortunately the phrase, the complexion for the protection still rings true. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has vowed to pardon the couple if they are convicted, while the state attorney general filed a motion to dismiss the case.