The Republican National Convention will feature a a carefully selected lineup of speakers to get voters energized in favor of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Two of those speakers are Patricia and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who made international news when they brandished firearms during an encounter with Black Lives Matters protesters in their neighborhood.
According to Fox News, the protesters were reportedly marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home, which is in the same private, gated community in which the McCloskey’s reside. Mark McCloskey said the protesters had threatened to kill them and take over their home. Video footage shows the two personal injury attorneys standing outside their mansion exchanging words with protesters. Patricia appears to be pointing a handgun at the gathering, and Mark has a rifle, per CNN.
After video from the scene went viral, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner charged the couple with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony. “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 a statement.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey have filed a motion to contest the charges and have also received Trump’s full support in a big way.
Trump thinks the McCloskeys are being treated unfairly
After charges were filed against Patricia and Mark McCloskey for brandishing firearms during an encounter with protesters in front of their homes, President Donald Trump expressed support for the couple’s actions. According to CBS News, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, said he talked to President Trump about the couple over the phone. Parson said the president “understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens.” Parson has also said he would pardon the couple if they were found guilty.
Trump also made his thoughts on the matter clear during an interview with Townhall, claiming he believes the McCloskeys “were going [to] be beat up badly and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down…” He called the felony gun charges against the couple “a disgrace.”
The situation made international news when it broke in July 2020, and now the controversy will surely gain even more attention when the McCloskeys speak at the Republican National Convention to push for Trump to remain in the White House.
The McCloskeys are supporting Trump's campaign
The Republican National Convention is not the first time that Patricia and Mark McCloskey have appeared at a campaign event for Donald Trump. In July 2020, they joined a virtual rally and spoke with Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, TV news personality Kimberly Guilfoyle. At that time, Mark said he thought he was “going to die” when protestors marched through their private neighborhood. “I thought that within seconds we’d be overrun, they’d be in the house, they’d be setting fires, they’d be killing us,” he added. His wife, Patricia, claimed they called police before taking their guns outside the mansion, though police say they received no calls from the home, reported CBS News.
Missouri State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, who was at the protest, painted a different picture of the situation. Claiming he was not part of “some bloodthirsty, rampaging mob,” Alridge said (via ABC News): “We practiced peaceful civil disobedience and had the threat of violence imposed upon us.” Alridge, a Democrat, claims Republicans are “exploiting” the situation to “mobilize” their base.
The McCloskeys’ appearance at the Republican National Convention will certainly amplify their visibility, but it’s not the first time the couple has been embroiled in controversy.
The McCloskeys are no strangers to legal battles
Patricia and Mark McCloskey’s confrontation with protestors was certainly not the first time the couple has feuded with others, particularly over their property (pictured above). The two are personal injury attorneys, so on a very basic level, they know their way around the legal system. According to the Daily Beast, they’ve “been in litigation with their gated neighborhood almost continually since they moved in in 1988 (after a lawsuit to buy the property, which had been in sales talks with someone else).”
The McCloskeys have reportedly evicted two tenants from a modular home on their property in just two years. One tenant was reportedly a family with three kids who had bounced a check. “When a synagogue on a neighboring property set up beehives to harvest honey for Rosh Hashanah celebrations, Mark McCloskey reportedly threatened litigation and smashed the beehives, making children cry,” the Daily Beast reported.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that Mark sued his sister, father, and his father’s caretaker for defamation, and he also sued an old boss for wrongful termination. The McCloskey’s also reportedly tried to block an unmarried couple from moving into the neighborhood, sued a dog breeder over paperwork, battled over a patch of grass in front of their home, and sued over a photo of their house used in a brochure, among other issues.
Bottom line: This is likely not the last time you’ll hear about this Donald Trump-supporting duo.
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