The white couple filmed over the weekend brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters passing by their residence in Portland Place, St. Louis, Missouri, said on Monday on an interview on CBS affiliate KMOV that they acted in that particular fashion because they were afraid for their lives.
The couple, identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, said that the protesters, who were passing by in their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house, smashed a gate to their private property.
“It was like the storming of the Bastille, the gate came down and a large crowd of angry, aggressive people poured through. I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds. Our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed,” Mark McCloskey said.
Mark McCloskey shared with KMOV a picture of the allegedly damaged gate. The station could not confirm whether the gate was damaged by protesters, however.
“A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear for our lives,” the man asserted.
Mark McCloskey claimed that his family has received a death threat at least from one protester.
Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey came out of their home pointing guns at #BlackLivesMatter protesters walking by their home in #StLouis.— Joseph Sakran (@JosephSakran) June 29, 2020
And to think that these two work as personal injury trial lawyers. 🤦♂️🤦♂️ #EndGunViolence pic.twitter.com/BTLai7Dys1
One of the protest leaders, Rasheen Aldridge, told the station that the protest was peaceful despite the couple pointing weapons – a rifle and a handgun – at the demonstrators.
Albert Watkins, the attorney for the McCloskeys, said in a statement to KMOV, that the couple’s behavior was not “race related,” adding, “In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white.”
“The Black Lives Matters movement is here to stay, it is the right message, and it is about time,” Watkins reportedly said. “The McCloskeys want to make sure no one thinks less of BLM, its message and the means it is employing to get its message out because of the actions of a few white individuals who tarnished a peaceful protest.”
Watkins noted that Mark and Patricia McCloskey are lawyers themselves, and suggested that they are known for their “long standing commitment to protecting the civil rights of clients victimized at the hands of law enforcement.”
On Sunday, demonstrators in St. Louis were marching to the residence of Mayor Lyda Krewson to demand her resignation after she reportedly read aloud Black Live Matter activists' personal information on a livestream.
Most of the United States, as well as many urban areas around the world, has witnessed an ongoing wave of anti-racism and anti-police-brutality protests since late May in the wake of the killing of African-American George Floyd at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota.