Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a white couple who say they were afraid for their lives as a mixed raced mob of protesters confronted them at their home on June 28. The couple showed their guns to the group of demonstrators — an incident that politicians and commentators have made a focal point of the nation’s culture war. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday that Trump would be “getting involved” in the case of the St. Louis couple, who are under review for potential criminal charges.
Both the president and Republican governor have offered impassioned defenses of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who went viral after showing their guns at protesters on the private street inside the gated community where their home is located.
President Trump, in a Tuesday interview with conservative news website Townhall, said any attempt to prosecute the couple for a crime would be a “disgrace.”
Earlier in the day, Trump also scoffed at a question about black people dying at the hands of law enforcement — a focus of the protests — by pointing out police also kill white people. He recently described BLM as a “symbol of hate” and has called for protecting Confederate monuments, painting those seeking to topple statues with racist histories as violent mobs.
St Louis police had executed a questionable search warrant and seized the gun McClosky was holding, HOLDING, not pointing or brandishing last month. Police also seized the handgun, which Schwartz said was inoperable, held by Patricia McCloskey. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden said the department has turned over an “unlawful use of a weapon” case to the St. Louis circuit attorney’s office. The protesters have acknowledged trespassing on the private street but deny damaging any property; the McCloskeys claimed they broke their gate.
“They were going be beat up badly, and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down like they tried to burn down churches.
“And these people were standing there, never used it and they were legal, the weapons. And now I understand somebody local, they want to prosecute these people. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said.
Parson views Gardner’s investigation as an affront to the Second Amendment, saying he believed the couple was legally allowed to brandish the firearms under the state’s “castle doctrine,” Missouri’s version of stand-your-ground laws that allow property owners to use force against intruders who cause the owners fear of imminent harm.
The governor on Tuesday suggested he wanted Gardner removed from office, saying the state legislature should consider ways to remove local elected officials who act so blatantly, unconstitutionally.