A man and woman, equipped with a rifle and pistol, stood in front of their property as Black Lives Matter protesters marched into the Forest Park neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri last weekend.
Reports indicate up to 300 protesters entered the residential area, where they were met by the couple armed with a rifle and a handgun.
The couple, later identified as local personal injury lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey, went viral on social media after video of the incident emerged.
The Mirror dubbed the intruders “peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters” in a tweet that got ratioed by social media users setting the record straight in the so-called “chilling” incident. The British publication also noted the predominantly white demographics of the exclusive neighborhood.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 29, 2020
The group were reportedly demanding the St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson’s resignation as they marauded through the neighborhood. Krewson revealed the names of around 40,000 people who had signed a petition calling for the police to be defunded.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
An account reportedly responsible for the doxxing of the two Missouri lawyers was also doxxed in return as the footage polarized the internet.
Supporters of Black Lives Matter condemned the gun-toting lawyers, while pro-2A commenters backed the couple who were defending their home.
Although some sympathizers were quick to claim that the protesters were not trespassing, photos reportedly showed a gate being destroyed in the incursion as well as a sign warning outsiders that the neighborhood was “private property.”
In spite of the sign, reports that the neighborhood was not legally recognized private property appeared on social media.
A racist narrative was spun to justify the intrusion by the protesters. One person commented: “There are old gates left on Kingshighway from when the neighborhood originally tried to keep black ppl out 100 years ago. They’re public streets, gate use allowed.”
Others attempted to paint the actions of the lawyers as illegal. “A fellow lawyer from Missouri, a guy I know named Mark McCloskey committed an assault tonight in STL by pointing his AR 15 at peaceful protesters. He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses,” tweeted Don Calloway, a local lawyer.
A fellow lawyer from Missouri, a guy I know named Mark McCloskey committed an assault tonight in STL by pointing his AR 15 at peaceful protesters. He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses. https://t.co/6N75iFLDtT
— doncalloway (@dcstl) June 29, 2020
A commenter, adding fuel to the fire, wrote: “Forth degree assault, per Missouri law, includes ‘Deliberately placing another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury’. I’m no lawyer, but threatening someone with a gun like these two did, repeatedly, sure seems to fit that bill.”
Forth degree assault, per Missouri law, includes "Deliberately placing another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury". I'm no lawyer, but threatening someone with a gun like these two did, repeatedly, sure seems to fit that bill.
— Ghost of Odin (@GhostOdins) June 29, 2020