A white couple that was seen in viral footage over the weekend pointing guns at protesters outside their home in St. Louis said on Monday that they were afraid for their lives.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey told local CBS affiliate KMOV in an interview published late Monday that they pointed their guns at protesters outside their residence on Sunday because they were “in fear for our lives.”
Protesters had been walking by their home in Portland Place, which the local outlet reports is a gated community, on Sunday night while on the way to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson (D). The group of several hundred protesters had reportedly been calling on Krewson to resign after she recently read aloud activists’ personal information on a livestream.
“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 told the station.
He also shared a picture with the station of a gate to the community that had been broken. However, the paper noted it has not been confirmed whether the gate was damaged by the protesters.
“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,” he told the station while claiming to have received a death threat from one protester.
However, Rasheen Aldridge, who had reportedly been one of the leaders of the protest, disputed the couple’s claims and said the protest remained peaceful in nature despite the McCloskeys drawing guns on the demonstrators.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
In a statement to KMOV, an attorney representing the McCloskeys, Albert Watkins, defended the their actions and said they were 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 continued in the statement. “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.”
He reportedly added that the McCloskeys “are lawyers whose professional careers have punctuated by their long standing commitment to protecting the civil rights of clients victimized at the hands of law enforcement. This commitment of time and resources to this cause continues today in the Isaiah Forman case.”