Law enforcement authorities in St. Louis on Friday night searched the home of a Missouri couple who, last month, made national headlines for brandishing firearms against protesters attempting to enter their private property. The husband-and-wife lawyers were not arrested.
As reported by Fox News and several other media outlets on Saturday, the rifle used in the standoff was seized during the search.
— KERRY KELLY (@kerrykelly514) July 11, 2020
KSDK in St. Louis reported there was no indication that Mark and Patricia McCloskey would be charged with a crime; the warrant applied only to the search for guns. Police reportedly saw the handgun Mrs. McCloskey waived at the protesters as they attempted to breach the couple’s front gate, but only the rifle was seized.
BREAKING: Sources tell Five On Your Side police seized one of the weapons, the rifle, from the couple and they told police their attorney has the pistol seen in photos. https://t.co/MMUWIz7iJs
— KSDK News (@ksdknews) July 11, 2020
The McCloskeys defended their actions against the protesters in an earlier interview with KSDK, insisting that they had done nothing wrong — let alone illegal. Mark McCloskey was adamant:
“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with our house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was about as bad as it can get.”
As RedState’s Elizabeth Vaughn wrote, the couple stood outside their home on Sunday evening, June 28, with what appeared to be an AR-15 and a small handgun, after a group of protestors broke into their gated community and attempted to trespass on their property.
NBC affiliate KSDK reported that a mob of approximately 300 Black Lives Matter protesters marched through the Central West End neighborhood, headed to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.
Further context shows that the protesters were trespassing on a private street when the St. Louis couple pulled out their guns to defend their home
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 29, 2020
By the next day, the “mainstream” national media were all over the story, but as RedState’s Nick Arama reported, there was a “twist.”
While the media had portrayed the mob as simply a group of “peaceful protesters,” their actions spoke otherwise — like ignoring the “Private Street ~ Access Limited to Residents” sign and tearing down the subdivision gate in an attempt to force their way in.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 29, 2020
Last Monday night, Patricia McCloskey told Fox’s Sean Hannity:
“[They said] that they were going to kill us. They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom and that’s going to be the living room and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room’.”
Mark McCloskey, who told Hannity that the couple “started hiding valuables and securing the house” the previous night, had previously appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” two nights after the incident.
I’m not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV, but by all accounts, it appears that the law should clearly be on the side of an apparently law-abiding couple with legally-owned firearms who were protecting their private property from forced invasion by “peaceful” protesters who had just torn down the gate leading to their property, right?
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement:
“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or the threat of deadly force will not be tolerated. My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people responsible.”
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in regards to events over weekend: pic.twitter.com/KqqFHIvL9Q
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) June 29, 2020
What? How do I ask this tactfully… is this woman INSANE?
Last time I checked, “peaceful” protesters don’t tear down gates in front of private property and attempt to forcefully enter said property.
Last time I checked, defending one’s property with lawfully registered firearms does not constitute “violent assault,” nor “deadly force.”
Last time I checked, the First Amendment does not guarantee the right of angry protesters to destroy private property and attempt to enter that property in a threatening manner — while repeatedly being told to back off by the property owners.
And last time I checked, prosecutors don’t talk about “chilling” anything, let alone lawfully attempting to protect one’s property. And if protecting that property requires “intimidation” to get the attackers to back off, so be it.
So why the search and seizure?
Seems to me that one of two things is going on here. Either there is potentially-damaging evidence against the McCloskeys that has not yet been made public, or an overzealous prosecutor is attempting to capitalize on the post-George-Floyd out-of-control craziness.
Unless and until additional information becomes public that would incriminate the McCloskeys, or at least suggest probable cause to pursue legal action against them, I gotta go with “b” — which, in today’s racially-charged environment, would not be a stretch.