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St. Louis police cite 9 in June protest that passed by McCloskeys' home

St. Louis police cite 9 in June protest that passed by McCloskeys' home
St. Louis police have recently cited nine people who Mark and Patricia McCloskey's brandished guns towards as they passed by their mansion in June.  File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 12 (UPI) -- St. Louis police have cited nine people involved in a June protest that got national attention after Mark and Patricia McCloskey brandished guns at demonstrators marching through the neighborhood.

The police department confirmed that it issued citations to nine people, but declined to identify who they cited, citing provisions of state law that seal arrest reports amid active investigation. It's not clear why just nine of the demonstrators who passed the McCloskeys' mansion were cited.

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The couple had told police that protesters had broken a gate to the wealthy Portland Place community to access a private street when they passed by the house on June 28, but video circulating online showed protesters opening and walking through an unbroken gate, according to KMOV4, and it was uncertain when it was damaged or who destroyed it.

Police officials did not say whether anyone was charged with breaking the gate.

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"The police department investigated nine instances of trespassing relating to this incident," St. Louis police spokeswoman Evita Caldwell said in an email Thursday. "Charges are being reviewed by the City Counselor's Office."

Deputy City Counselor Mike Garvin added Friday that police are considering whether charges should be issued based on the citations, and wants to analyze protest footage "to see where the accused trespassers were at the time."

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In July, St. Louis prosecutors filed felony charges against the couple who pointed or waved guns at protesters walking by their mansion in gated community of Portland Place on June 28 on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewsen's home.

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The protesters demanded Krewsen's resignation after she released names and addresses of residents who had advocated for redistribution of the police department's funding, including those recommending that police funding to go to affordable housing and a new program to curb violence.

The McCloskeys were each charged with a felony count of unlawful exhibiting of a weapon. Mark McCloskey, 63, pointed an AR-15 rifle at marchers while his wife, 61, waved a semiautomatic handgun, placing protesters in fear of injury, charging documents said.

"I unequivocally believe no crime was committed," the McCloskeys' lawyer Joel Schwartz said in a statement referring to the felony charges, adding that First Amendment rights must be balanced with the Second Amendment.

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Mark McCloskey has further claimed that he and his wife were "in fear for our lives."

The incident went viral and the McCloskey couple spoke at the Republican National Convention in August.

Black Lives Matter activist Ohun Ashe posted on Twitter on Sept. 4 that she had received a summons to appear in court for "trespassing on private property" on Portland Place, NPR reported.

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"I had a gun waved in my face by them but trespassing is what matters?," Ashe tweeted.

Kimberly Gardner, St. Louis circuit attorney described the McCloskeys' brandishing weapons at protesters as "threatening" and "illegal" in in a statement in July.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said in a radio interview, also in July, that he would probably pardon the couple if convicted.

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