On Wednesday (Oct. 14), the white St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters pleaded not guilty to charges related to the incident.
Last Wednesday (Oct. 7), Patricia and Mark McCloskey were indicted by a grand jury with two counts each for tampering with evidence and exhibiting a weapon. According to CNN, the felony counts are punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to four years in prison.
Joel Schwartz, the couple’s attorney, said he believes St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner is politicizing the case and he will file a motion to dismiss the charges.
“I am confident that the Court will see that the Circuit Attorney has created, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety, which casts serious doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings,” he said. “Finally, I look forward to receiving and reviewing the discovery/reports in order to understand how the Circuit Attorney intends to support these allegations against the McCloskeys and disrupting their lives.”
Back in June, the McCloskeys were caught on camera standing in front of their home pointing a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle at peaceful protesters who were marching by.
Following the incident, the couple filed a police report with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on which they were listed as “victims” in the incident. In the report, the couple claimed they were “threatened with [their] lives” and “observed multiple [protesters] who were armed.” Video footage showed that the McCloskeys were already armed when protesters arrived.
Their former attorney previously told the St. Louis American that his clients support the Black Lives Matter movement and were protecting themselves against a few white agitators. “Their actions were borne solely of fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race-related. In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white,” Attorney Albert S. Watkins said. “The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys. To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters.”
In August, the couple spoke about their right to bear arms at the Republican National Convention. Patricia also claimed Democrats were out to “abolish” suburbs “by ending single-family home zoning.”