St. Louis armed protesters broke the iron gate, threatened the couple before pulling out their own weapons, a lawyer says

A Missouri couple under fire for brandishing weapons in the front yard of their home when protesters passed by and told police that the group broke a door to enter the private street, and the couple say they only recovered their firearms. When they saw “several” people who were already armed, the department’s records show.

Al Watkins, an attorney for Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife of 61, Patricia, said the protest was largely peaceful and that the couple did not bring their weapons out of the house until two men in particular, they were both white, he started threatening them.

The McCloskeys, he said, were hesitant to present the full story for fear that they “underestimated the importance of Black Lives Matter.”

“At the time, their fear was, these people, two in particular, marching along with the Black Lives Matter protest participants, all peaceful. They were acting inconsistently with the message being given,” Watkins said. “My clients were not arming themselves against peaceful protesters, they were arming themselves over people with a really bad motive, a motive that goes against the fundamental principles of our country.”

After the couple brought the weapons outside, Watkins said, others began threatening them, unaware of the reason behind the couple’s interpreted need to arm themselves.

“However, my clients had to deal with the comments of two people who perpetrated these acts of violence and did not accuse them, but approached them and did so in a way that was threatening, threatening, and in a manner inconsistent with the Black Lives Matter message. “

The couple called the St. Louis Police Department shortly before 7:30 p.m. Sunday. They told the officers who arrived that they had heard a “commotion” and, upon further investigation, “observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with the signs ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ ” according to a summary of the incident provided to Fox News by the department.

A broken door on private property near the McCloskeys' home.  (Al Watkins)

A broken door on private property near the McCloskeys’ home. (Al Watkins)

The police report does not identify the McCloskeys as the victims.


“Once they crossed the door, the victims informed the group that they were on a private street and they trespassed and told them to leave,” the police summary said. “The group began shouting obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims observed multiple armed subjects, they armed themselves and contacted the police. “

According to the couple’s account, police classified the incident as a case of rape and assault for intimidation, according to the summary of the incident. No other police reports were filed that night, a department spokesman told Fox News.

Mark McCloskey told KMOV-TV that a mob rushed home while the family was having dinner and “made us fear our lives.”

“This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets, “said McCloskey. “They told us they would kill us, burn our house and kill our dog. We were alone in front of an angry crowd. “


The viral video posted on Twitter shows the McCloskeys, both attorneys, standing outside their Renaissance palazzo-style home in the city’s affluent Central West End neighborhood. He could be heard screaming while holding a long-barreled weapon. His wife was at his side with a gun.

Armed homeowners standing outside their home confront protesters on June 28, 2020, in west central St. Louis.  (Laurie Skrivan / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Armed homeowners standing outside their home confront protesters on June 28, 2020, in west central St. Louis. (Laurie Skrivan / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Watkins said the McCloskeys have practiced the law for more than 30 years and that “their practices have continually included representing people seeking protection of their civil rights.”

“One hundred percent of my client’s clients in those cases have been people of color,” Watkins said.

Meanwhile, protesters marched to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation.


The group of at least 500 people chanted: “Give up, Lyda! Take the police with you! news reports.

Krewson has faced demands for his resignation after a briefing on Facebook Live on Friday, where the white mayor read the names of those who wanted to liquidate the police force. The video was removed and Krewson apologized the same day, saying he had no intention of causing distress.

The names and letters are considered public records, but Krewson’s actions caused a strong reaction.

Protesters across the country have been pushing to “remove the police” for the death of George Floyd and other black people at the hands of the police. Floyd, in handcuffs, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.

Associated Press contributed to this report.