A couple has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon on Monday for pointing guns at peaceful demonstrators outside their residence in St Louis, Missouri. Last month, Patricia McCloskey and Lawyers Mark drew assault weapons on anti-racism protesters marching through the ground of their $1.15 million mansion.
The couple argued that they armed themselves for their protection. However, the top persecutor of St Louis has said that their action had risked creating unrest at an otherwise peaceful protest. Kim Gardner, the city’s attorney, maintained that it is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at peaceful protesters.
Gardener further highlighted that luckily the situation did not escalate, but such conduct is unacceptable in the city. She added that the local authorities must protect the right to peaceful protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated.
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Meanwhile, the couple also faces a fourth-degree assault charge. Joel Schwartz, the lawyer of McCloskeys, called the decision to press charges as ‘’ disheartening’’ because he believes no crime was committed at the scene.
The couple, who lives on a private street and are both injury attorneys have maintained that they were in their constitutional right to defend the property. Mike Parson, the governor of Missouri, said that if the prosecutors brought criminal charges in the case, he was prepared to exercise his pardon powers.
Last week, the Republican governor told a radio station that he does not think the couple will spend any time in prison. During his time as a legislator, he co-wrote the ‘’castle doctrine’’ law of Missouri. The legal team of the St Louis couple has said that some white protesters had threatened their property and them.
The McCloskeys said that a large group of protesters had broken through the front iron gate, which was marked with ‘’private property’’ and ‘’no trespassing’’ signs, but one of the demonstrators maintained that the door was already open, the police said.
The march was part of the wave of protests across the US, sparked by the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody. The city’s prosecutor, Miss Garner, is recommending the wife and husband to take part in a diversion program.
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