A Missouri man at the centerpiece of a controversial incident that occurred during a protest in St. Louis on Saturday says he was protecting his family when he brandished an AR-15 in front of a group of people.
Attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey stood in front of their home with guns while protesters marched toward Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house on Saturday afternoon. The protest occurred after the mayor reportedly released the names and addresses of people pushing to defund the police department.
According to several videos taking by local reporters, as well as onlookers, the couple stood in front of a lavish mansion in a Central West End neighborhood and screamed at what appeared to be peaceful protesters. NBC 5 reports that the McCloskeys are the owners of the law firm, McCloskey Law.
Mark McCloskey spoke to CBS 5 in St. Louis on Monday and explained his side of the incident, asserting that the crowd was anything but peaceful.
“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,” McCloskey told the outlet.
“This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”
McCloskey said he spotted people in the crowd with the guns. He said that’s when they decided to get his own gun.
Others, however, saw the incident differently.
Saint Louis University Lawyer John Amman told NBC 5 that the couple’s actions could be considered assault since it put protesters in fear of their own safety. He later posted on Twitter that Mark McCloskey should be arrested and charged.
“A fellow lawyer from Missouri, a guy I know named Mark McCloskey committed an assault tonight in STL by pointing his AR 15 at peaceful protesters. He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Krewson, who read on Facebook Live the names and addresses of protesters calling on the city to defund the police department, has since apologized and removed the video.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
“I would like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall as I was answering a routine question during one of my updates earlier today. While this is public information, I did not intend to cause distress or harm to anyone. The post has been removed.”
Although the names and addresses of those pushing to defund the police are considered public, Krewson’s actions resulted in heavy scrutiny. An online petition started shortly after, pushing for the mayor’s resignation. More than 40,000 signatures have accumulated.
“As a leader, you don’t do stuff like that … it’s only right that we visit her at her home,” said State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis said on Sunday.
So far, the McCloskeys have not faced any charges.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Screenshot via Twitter/Daniel Schular]