Mark and Patricia McCloskey went viral in late June after they stood outside their home with guns while Black Lives Matter protesters came through their neighborhood.
Soon after pictures and videos of the Missouri couple went viral, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat, launched an investigation into the couple because they dared to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Now, Garder said she is preparing to charge the couple.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said Monday she’s charging the couple who flashed guns at a crowd marching to the mayor’s office last month with felony unlawful use of a weapon.
Gardner, the city’s top prosecutor, told The Associated Press that Mark and Patricia McCloskey also faced a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault over the June 28 incident. “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner — that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis,” Gardner said.
However, the McCloskeys have said many times they were defending themselves, with tensions high in St. Louis and other cities over race and law enforcement. They said that the crowd of demonstrators broke an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, and that some violently threatened them.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson has revealed that President Donald Trump has not only asked him about the case, but the president has also suggested he may personally get involved to help the McCloskey family.
While speaking to reporters, Parson said Trump told him “he would do everything he could within his powers to help with this situation.”
He later said he was “thankful that [Trump’s] going to stand up for people and their legal rights.”
Parson said that Trump “understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens.”
“I think the president and the attorney general of the United States are going to take a look at it,” Parson said. “The president doesn’t like what he’s seeing and the way these people are being treated. I know the attorney general was represented on that phone call today, so I think you’ll see some sort of actions. I think they’re going to look into things.”
Parson, a former law enforcement officer, said the McCloskeys were exercising their rights under the doctrine to protect their property when protesters came through their neighborhood.
The governor also took aim at the circuit attorney’s office for considering whether the McCloskeys should be indicted.
“What they should not go through is a prosecutor attempting to take their constitutional rights away by filing charges against them for protecting their property,” he said.