Although it’s a serious matter, unquestionably, it didn’t take long for memes of the now infamous armed St. Louis couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, to hit the Internet. You can see some of the most popular memes throughout this article.
The couple are personal injury lawyers in Missouri, and they hit the Internet by storm when photos and videos emerged showing them brandishing firearms outside their mansion at a group of protesters.
Mark McCloskey has defended the couple’s actions, telling CNN, “I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate. I didn’t care what color they were. I didn’t care what their motivation was. I was frightened, I was assaulted, and I was in imminent fear that they would run me over, kill me, burn my house.”
According to The Washington Post, there are different perspectives on this; the crowd of about 500 people was headed to protest outside the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.
People in that group say they weren’t violent or threatening to the McCloskeys, their house, or anyone. Views of the couple have also broken down, often along political lines, with some people saying they were wrong and others saying they were within their right to defend private property. Some have labeled them “Ken and Karen” in memes on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Couple Shouted ‘Private Property’ at the Crowd
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mark McCloskey held a rifle as she shouted, “Private property!” His wife, Patricia McCloskey, wielded a handgun and told the crowd, “Get out! Private property, get out!”
Police told the newspaper that the couple called authorities. “The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims,” police said, according to The Post-Dispatch. “When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police.”
Anders Walker, a constitutional law professor at St. Louis University, told the newspaper that the behavior was “very dangerous” but that they didn’t break laws because it was on a private street. He added that they are “protected by Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force to defend private property.”
Mark McCloskey told KSDK-TV,
We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was, it was about as bad as it can get. I mean, those you know, I really thought it was Storming the Bastille that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it. It was a huge and frightening crowd. And they were they broken the gate were coming at us.
Mark McCloskey told Tucker Carlson that the couple is not racist.
“I don’t understand. Here’s the interesting thing, I spent my career defending people that are defenseless, for people having a hard time making their miracle happen, for people who don’t have a voice,” he said, according to Daily Beast. “My Black clients love us! And the night that this happened, I had some of our Black clients calling us up at 2:30 a.m. telling us how wrong this was the way the press was writing this up.”
The Circuit Attorney Is Investigating the Incident
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement that the incident is under investigation. “I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated,” she said.
She added, “My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”
The couple was previously featured in St. Louis Magazine for their efforts to renovate the mansion that was once owned by a member of the Busch family of beer-making fame. They bought the home more than three decades ago. Mark McCloskey told the magazine, “All the plumbing was made by Mott, which was the premiere manufacturer at the turn of the century, and all the door and window hardware was made by P.E. Guerin.”
“The dining room is a re-creation of a residence chamber in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, constructed in 1458 by Luca Pitti, though its more famous residents included the Medicis and Napoleon Bonaparte. It took six people an entire year to carefully remove multiple layers of paint glommed over the intricate woodwork,” the magazine explained of the painstaking renovations.
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