Lawyer pair in Missouri faces felony charges after waving guns at protesters

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protests,” said St Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner

Lawyer pair in Missouri faces felony charges after waving guns at protesters

A lawyer couple is facing felony charges after they waved guns at protesters outside their home in St Louis, Missouri, last month.

Personal injury lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey were charged with the unlawful use of a weapon by the office of St Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner on Monday, according to a National Public Radio report. On 28 June, a group of antiracism demonstrators marched through the McCloskeys’ community on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home, and video showed Mrs McCloskey pointing a handgun at the protestors while Mr McCloskey held a rifle.

The incident received widespread coverage on social media, with Black Lives Matter supporters protesting the act.

“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,” Gardner said in her statement. “We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated.”

The McCloskeys said they acted out of fear and self-defence, intending to protect their property. Their lawyer, Joel Schwartz, issued a statement saying that he believed “no crime was committed.”

“I, along with my clients, support the First Amendment right of every citizen to have their voice and opinion heard. This right, however, must be balanced with the Second Amendment and Missouri law, which entitle each of us to protect our home and family from potential threats,” he said.

Gardner said that she was open to limiting court involvement by recommending that the couple join one of her office’s diversion programs.

“I believe this would serve as a fair resolution to this matter,” she said.

Meanwhile, on St Louis radio show Mark Cox Morning Show, Missouri Governor Mike Parson expressed his intent to grant a pardon to the couple if they are convicted.

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