A couple brandished an AR-15 and a handgun at protesters marching past their mansion in an upscale St. Louis neighborhood.
Husband and wife, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, could be seen aiming the guns at demonstrators who walked by their palatial property in the wealthy Forest Park area at around 6pm on Sunday.
At one point, the pair seemed to be unknowingly pointing their weapons at one another other while trying to keep protesters away from their home – dubbed the Niemann Mansion.
The protesters were en route to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation after she released the names and addresses of residents who had suggested defunding the police department.
They had broken their way into the gated community where the McCloskeys live.
The pair are both personal injury lawyers and run McCloskey Law Center from inside their extravagant home.
On Monday morning, President Donald Trump retweeted footage of the couple without comment.
Demonstrators chanted ‘Let’s Go’ as the couple stood their ground at their front door, patrolling back and forth.
One video posted to Twitter of the demonstration shows the woman holding her gun at a protester who is wearing a t-shirt that reads, ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’.
The individual appeared to be trying to get people to move away from the house at the time.
Patricia McCloskey, 61, is seen moving closer to the protesters speaking to them as some stand and argue back.
Other demonstrators are heard shouting at everyone to ‘Go’ as the woman continues waving her handgun at them from her front lawn and Mark McCloskey watched from the front door with his rifle.
St. Louis police confirmed they were called to Portland Place at around 7.20pm on Sunday night for an incident involving trespassing and assault 4th intimidation after the McCloskeys issued a ‘call for help’.
‘The victims stated they were on their property when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street. When the victims went to investigate the commotion, they observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs,’ police said.
‘Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave. The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims.
‘When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police. The investigation is ongoing.’
Mr McCloskey, 63, has previously represented a victim of police brutality. The man – who was identified by the initials I.F. – was kicked and struck by police officer David Maas in shocking dashcam footage that appeared to show him surrendering.
The initials match a 2019 civil lawsuit made by Isaiah Forman in which the same allegations are put forward.
Police at the time said Forman, then 21, was driving a car that had been taken by another man at gunpoint.
The lawsuit against Maas claimed that Forman had ‘surrendered peaceably’.
According to the indictment, Maas kicked and struck Forman in April 2019 while the man was compliant and not posing a physical threat to anyone, causing ‘bodily injury’ and depriving him of his right to be ‘free from unreasonable force’.
A lawyer for Maas argued that Forman had ‘aggressively resisted arrest’ and ‘struck a police vehicle, narrowly missing a police officer in the process’.
Maas was charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law in March 2020.
Mr McCloskey said of the case: ‘I’m glad that the law enforcement agencies are subject to the same standard as everybody else’.
Forman pleaded guilty to crashing his car into a police vehicle during the chase and is serving a seven year sentence for second-degree assault on a special victim.
Saint Louis University Lawyer John Amman told KSDK that the actions of the couple Sunday could possibly be classified as assault by putting protesters in fear of their safety.
Amman added that the homeowners would have had a right to act if they felt threatened but if the protesters were walking past their home without threatening the couple specifically, they wouldn’t have the right to threaten lethal force.
Lawyer Don Calloway called on the Missouri Bar to revoke their licences.
‘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 wrote.
‘He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses.’