White Couple Points Guns At Protesters In St. Louis Who Were Demanding Mayor Resign
A St. Louis prosecutor said she would investigate whether the couple, who are both lawyers, broke any laws when they went outside with their weapons during a peaceful protest.
A white couple in St. Louis was captured on video pointing guns at protesters who were marching toward the mayor’s house to demand she resign.
The protest on Sunday reportedly attracted at least 500 people who are calling for Mayor Lyda Krewson’s resignation — last week, Krewson released names and addresses of residents who were demanding police reform.
Krewson apologized on Friday for releasing the protesters’ information during a briefing, saying she didn’t “intend to harm anyone or cause distress.” While the mayor’s “doxing” isn’t illegal, according to the Washington Post, the move has still incited backlash. Krewson said she removed a Facebook post where she made the comments.
In a widely shared video of the Missouri couple, the woman can be seen holding a pistol, and the man is holding a rifle. In some parts of the footage, the woman is pointing the pistol directly at protesters, and both of them are shouting at the crowd. One video of the scene has been viewed more than 12 million times.
According to multiple outlets, President Trump retweeted a video of the couple on Monday, though the post didn’t appear on his feed at the time of publication. (The Post reported that “the White House later declined to say why he did so.”)
Trump’s reported retweet came after the president faced blowback for retweeting a video of a supporter in The Villages, Florida, yelling “White power! White power!” at protesters. (Trump has since deleted the tweet, in which he thanked “the great people of The Villages” for their support.)
The footage of the barefoot Missouri couple holding weapons outside of a stately mansion has prompted a swarm of reactions, with some comparing them to a stereotypical “Karen” and “Ken.”
The couple has been identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both lawyers. In an interview with local news outlet KSDK on Monday, Mark McCloskey said he and his wife were "threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down."
"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. It was a huge and frightening crowd," he said.
When asked about the reaction to the images online, McCloskey said: "The only thing that stopped the crowd from approaching the house was when I had that rifle and I was holding there. The only thing that stemmed the tide. I can't blame my wife for being terrified and for doing what she could to protect what she thought was her life, it was it was, you know, a horrible, horrible event."
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said she would investigate whether the couple broke any laws when they went outside with their weapons during a peaceful protest.
"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," Gardner said Monday. "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 will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable."