O’FALLON, MO. — The St. Louis couple who became internationally famous for standing guard with firearms outside their mansion in a demonstration have pulled a gun earlier in defense of their home, based on an affidavit in a continuous case.
As demonstrators marched near the Renaissance palazzo-style home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey on Sunday, video posted online revealed him wielding a long-barreled gun and her using a small handgun. No shots had been fired.
The protesters, estimated in around 500 racially mixed people, were passing the house on the way to the local home of Mayor Lyda Krewson. The protest was one of dozens in St. Louis since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25.
The McCloskeys — he’s 63 and she is 61 — are equally personal injury attorneys and their residence is on a private road called Portland Place in St. Louis’ well-to-do Central West End. Their attorney, Albert Watkins, said the couple are long-time civil rights advocates and encourage the message of the Black Lives Issue motion. He explained when two or three protesters — that had been white — \threatened their land, and the bunch and that of their neighbors, they grabbed their guns.
Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said her office had been working with police to investigate, saying she was alarmed because”peaceful protesters were met by firearms and a violent attack.”
A letter published Wednesday by more than three dozen neighbors of the couple condemned”the behavior of anybody who uses threats of violence, especially through the brandishing of firearms, to interrupt peaceful protest, if it be in this neighborhood or anywhere in the USA.”
The McCloskeys and the trustees of Portland Place are involved in a three-year legal dispute over a little parcel of property. The McCloskeys claim they own it, but the trustees say it belongs to the neighborhood\.
Mark McCloskey said in the affidavit that he and his wife purchased the house in 1988 and also have taken several measures to improve the contested piece of property.
The affidavit states they have”regularly prohibited all persons, such as Portland Place residents, from crossing the Parcel including at least in a stage, demanding a resident at gunpoint who refused to heed the McCloskeys’ warnings to keep off such land.”
Watkins said in an interview the McCloskeys have”touched their weapons” just twice in their 32 years on Portland Place — during the incident in 1988 or 1989 cited in the affidavit, and also on Sunday.
In the earlier incident, Watkins said, Patricia McCloskey heard a sound at night and saw someone.
“She looked down, had a gun and cried for the person to stay off her property,” Watkins said. It turned out to become a neighbor cutting on the way home from a business district.
Watkins said the neighbor was then, and is currently, a friend of the couple.
Demonstrators on Sunday were angry at Krewson, a Democrat, for reading aloud the names and addresses of several residents who composed letters calling for defunding the police force. The group of least 500 people chanted,”Resign, Lyda! Just take the cops together with you!” Krewson’s home is only a few blocks from the McCloskeys’ house.
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