A couple who held weapons on their lawn to protect their St. Louis home from marching and chanting protesters in their upscale neighborhood support the Black Lives Matter movement, according to their lawyer.
Their attorney, Albert Watkins, told The Associated Press on Monday that the couple, both lawyers, have long been civil rights advocates and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The most important thing for them is that their images [holding weapons] don’t become the basis for a rallying cry for people who oppose the Black Lives Matter message,” Watkins said. “They want to make it really clear that they believe the Black Lives Matter message is important.”
Watkins said the couple, Mark McCloskey, 63, and his 61-year-old wife, Patricia, grabbed their weapons — he an AR-15 and she a handgun — when two or three protesters, all white, threatened them with violence.
In an interesting twist, Mark McCloskey 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 Daily Mail reported. “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.
In the incident on Sunday, the McCloskeys could be seen in Twitter posts aiming the weapons at the protesters, who had entered the wealthy section of the city’s Forest Park area about 6 p.m. as part of a march to the mayor’s house, located inside the gated, private neighborhood.
“A couple has come out of their house and is pointing guns at protesters in their neighborhood,” one person wrote on Twitter.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
“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,” the Mail wrote. “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.”
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