Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

ST. LOUIS — Several hundred protesters made a peaceful return trip Friday to the St. Louis mansion owned by a white couple whose armed defence of their home during an earlier demonstration earned them both scorn and support.

Protesters marched along the busy public boulevard called Kingshighway, which intersects with Portland Place, a private street that is the site of the Renaissance palazzo-style home of Mark McCloskey, 61, and his 63-year-old wife, Patricia.

Chanting protesters on Friday stopped at the gate just outside the McCloskeys’ home for about 15 minutes. The gate that closes the private street to non-residents and extra metal barriers blocked the entrance to Portland Place, where the protesters had walked earlier in the week on their way to the mayor’s home nearby.

Inside the gate, more than a dozen men in plain clothes walked the grounds and peered out from a second-floor balcony of the couple’s home. One protester briefly straddled an iron gate as if he was going to jump over, but did not. No one threw anything and no one behind the gates showed aggression. One man on the McCloskeys’ balcony clapped along with the chanting protesters.

The racially diverse crowd on Friday carried signs reading “Black Lives Matter,” “Defund the Police” and “No Justice, No Peace,” and chanted slogans including, “when Black lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” and “this is what democracy looks like.”

It was not immediately known if the McCloskeys were home.

The marchers then left and walked along the busy boulevard lined with condominiums, upscale apartments and hospitals to Interstate 64. Police had closed that road to traffic in both directions and were allowing the protesters to march onto the highway, where they sat for several minutes in honour of George Floyd, who was handcuffed and died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.

The latest rally organized by the group Expect Us is among several protests in St. Louis in the weeks since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis reopened longstanding concerns about police treatment of Black people in the region.

The McCloskeys are personal injury attorneys who suddenly became famous last Sunday. As an estimated 500 demonstrators marched near their home, the couple heard a loud commotion and saw a large group of people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, according to a police report.

Video posted online and viewed by millions showed Mark McCloskey wielding a long-barrelled gun and Patricia McCloskey waving a small handgun. No shots were fired. That same video showed the protesters walking through the gate and it was unclear when it was damaged.

As days went by, photos of the incident evolved into memes on both sides of the gun debate — some supporting the McCloskeys as examples of people protecting their own property, some making fun of them for pulling guns during what many perceived as an otherwise peaceful protest.

The attorney for the couple, Albert Watkins, said they are longtime civil rights advocates and support the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. He said they grabbed their guns when two or three protesters — who were white — violently threatened the couple, and their property and that of their neighbours.

Protest organizer Darryl Gray said on Friday, “Are we angry? Damn right we’re angry. But we’re nonviolent.”

Demonstrators on Sunday were simply passing by the McCloskeys home on the way to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson, a Democrat. She drew their ire on June 26 when she read aloud the names and addresses of several residents who wrote letters calling for defunding the police force. The group chanted, “Resign, Lyda! Take the cops with you!” Krewson’s home is a few blocks from the McCloskeys’ home.

A letter released Wednesday by more than three dozen neighbours of the couple condemned “the behaviour of anyone who uses threats of violence, especially through the brandishing of firearms, to disrupt peaceful protest, whether it be in this neighbourhood or anywhere in the United States.”

Jim Salter, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Just Posted

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

pic1
Community Christmas card raises over $1,200 for local man

‘This year’s Christmas card proceeds were donated to Scott Douglas, who has lived in Erskine for 11 years’

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Most Read