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St. Louis Attorneys Patricia and Mark McCloskey Charged for Pointing Weapons at Protesters

Patricia and Mark McCloskey

St. Louis attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey were charged Monday for an incident in which they stood outside their mansion in a private, gated community and pointed a rifle and a handgun at passing protesters.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis,” Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. She described the protesters, who were demonstrating against Mayor Lyda Krewson, as “peaceful” and “unarmed.”

Nonetheless, Gardner said she’s willing to recommend the couple participate in a diversion program.

Mark McCloskey told right-of-center radio host Todd Starnes earlier this month that he was “surprised” when investigators executed a search warrant and took his rifle. He asserted to KMOV-TV in a June 29 report that protesters threatened to burn down his home and kill his dog. The McCloskeys made similar remarks on Sean Hannity’s broadcast on Fox News Channel.

The couple’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, has told The Associated Press that Patricia McCloskey’s gun was inoperable when the protest happened.

The couple each face a count of unlawful use of a weapon – exhibiting, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Schwartz previously cited “Missouri law and the Castle Doctrine” as the reason why the McCloskeys were within their rights. Now, in the face of a criminal case, he said the charges were “disheartening” because he believed “no crime was committed.”

Last month, Law&Crime looked at whether the McCloskey’s could be prosecuted under the “unlawful use of weapons” law.

[Image via Daniel Shular @xshularx]

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