A Missouri couple under fire for brandishing guns in the front yard of their home as protesters passed told police the group broke a gate to get onto the private street, and the pair say they only retrieved their firearms when they spotted “multiple” people who were already armed, department records show.
Al Watkins, an attorney for Mark McCloskey, 63, and his 61-year-old wife, Patricia, said the protest was largely peaceful and the pair did not bring their guns outside of the home until two men in particular, both of whom were white, started menacing them.
The McCloskeys, he said, were hesitant to come forward with the full story out of fear that they would "disparage the importance of Black Lives Matter."
"At the time, their fear was, these people, two in particular, that were marching along with the Black Lives Matter protest participants – all peaceful. They were acting in a fashion inconsistent with the message being given," Watkins said. "My clients were not arming themselves against peaceful protesters, they were arming themselves about people with a really bad motive, a motive that runs afoul of the fundamental tenets of our country."
After the couple brought the guns outside, Watkins said, others began threatening them, unaware of the reason behind the couple's interpreted need to arm themselves.
"My clients, though, had to deal with comments that were from two individuals that were perpetrating these acts of violence and, not charging, but coming toward them and doing so in a fashion that was threatening, menacing, and in a fashion inconsistent with the Black Lives Matter message."
The pair called the St. Louis Police Department shortly before 7:30 p.m. Sunday. They told arriving officers that they had heard a "commotion" and, upon investigating further, “observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street' signs.” according to an incident summary provided to Fox News by the department.
The police report does not identify the McCloskeys as the victims.
“Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave,” the police summary further states. “The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims ... (Read more)
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