Yes, The St. Louis Couple Could Be Criminally Charged But It Would Be No Slam Dunk Prosecution

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Two lawyers in St. Louis are in the middle of a firestorm after they were shown outside of their house with guns in a confrontation with protesters en route to the nearby house of Mayor Lyda Krewson. Mark and Patricia McCloskey are shown aiming their weapons at the protestors, including Mark McCloskey’s assault-style rifle.  St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has publicly declared that she is looking for criminal charges to bring against the two lawyers.  That has led to many in the criminal defense field (including many who reached out to me) to speculate on what charges she might bring under these facts.  While many have suggested that this would be a slam dunk prosecution or that the fact easily satisfy criminal definitions, it may be easier to get a charge than a sustainable conviction.

The McCloskeys have insisted that they were responding to what they saw as a clear threat. They insist that most of the protesters were peaceful, that they had no problem with those protesters, and that they support Black Lives Matter.  Critics insist that they were the cause of the escalation and the gun display was uncalled for and threatening.

The attorneys called the St. Louis Police Department shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and the police report confirmed that “a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs.”  (For the record, I have seen pictures of the gate and it is not exactly formidable and does appear “smashed.” However, it is clearly marked as private property and was forced open).

Gardner issued a statement late Monday morning that she was “alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault.” She added “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.”

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Some have criticized the public declaration of Gardner in light of these claims. Gardner has been under fire for the release of alleged looters and rioters without charges.

The question for this blog is what can Gardner use in such a case as a criminal charge and some of our Missouri lawyers might have some insights to share.

First, here is part of the videotape that would feature prominently in any trial:

Patricia McCloskey is shown most clearly in pointing a gun at protesters.  Mark McCloskey actually points a rifle as much at his wife, but also there are points where he turns his body with the barrel pointing at protesters. Both are bare-footed and can argue that they ran from their home to confront what they viewed as an immediate threat. Patricia McCloskey is shown going to the side of the house and she is likely to claim that she was trying to fend off intruders as part of any defense.  However, the prosecutors can argue that the videotapes do not show aggressive conduct or movement toward the house.

The key may be any home security footage or other videotape and witness-based evidence to support the claim of the initial threats or threatening conduct.

Here is another video however where Patricia McCloskey is clearing pointing the gun at the protesters:

 

Ironically, therefore, the clearer case may be against Patricia with the small handgun than her husband with the assault-style weapon.

Here is an interview with the husband.

The most obvious criminal charge could be Section 571.030(4), which allows for a Class E felony charge when a person “[e]xhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.” Such a conviction can bring up to four years in prison, one year in jail, and/or a $10,000 fine.

It is not unlawful to be outside of one’s home on your property with a lawful weapon, which may be the ultimately defense for Mark McCloskey  if he is not shown pointing the weapon intentionally at any individual.  Indeed, we have seen the same type of weapon displayed in public in rallies (like those against the lock-down orders) and protests (like some in the “autonomous” zone in Seattle).  Obviously, existing footage shows Patricia McCloskey pointing the weapon.

However, a complicating factor is that Missouri is a state with a Castle Doctrine law and these guns were lawfully possessed.  The law states, in subsection 3,  that deadly force cannot be used unless “[s]uch force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual.” However, no lethal force was used here. It was threatened.

That raises two questions.  Is the law triggered by entry on the property as opposed to entry without the home?  Also, does the law implicitly support the show of force to deter entry.

Some have cited the 2016 case of State v. Whipple, which interpreted subsection 3 is not giving  “the occupier, owner, or lessee authority to stand his ground and use deadly force without having a reasonable belief that such force is necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force.”

However, the McCloskey’s are alleging that they were threatened directly, the protesters were already trespassing, and that the breaking of the gate constitutes a reasonable basis for their fear. That seems the ultimate jury question.  Whether you are carrying a gun to deter violence or “in an angry or threatening manner” could grounds for both a factual defense and even a constitutional defense based on the vagueness of the standard when applied to homeowners standing on their own property.

There is also the possibility of an assault charge under Section 565.056 (3-4), which defines assault in the fourth degree as any conduct which “purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury” or “recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.” This again is subject to the same arguments raised with regard to the potential brandishing charges.

As a criminal defense attorney, I often worry about a client who becomes such a focus of national media attention.  Prosecutors are elected officials who tend to respond to outcry of the public. The image of two affluent individuals standing in front of their luxury home with these weapons is nightmare for defense counsel.  However, there are some tricky issues here in the use of these laws in the balancing of the rights of self-defense under laws like the Castle Doctrine law and countervailing prohibitions on threats or assault.  Indeed, the pre-trial motions would be fascinating to watch as the defense seeks dismissal on the basis for statutory or constitutional claims.  The prosecution needs to get not just a judge to reject such a motion for dismissal, but a jury to rule unanimously in favor of the charges.  Any conviction would allow for ample grounds to appeal.

Missouri Castle Doctrine Law:

 *563.031.  Use of force in defense of persons. — 1.  A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person, unless:

  (1)  The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case his or her use of force is nevertheless justifiable provided:

  (a)  He or she has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened use of unlawful force; or

  (b)  He or she is a law enforcement officer and as such is an aggressor pursuant to section 563.046; or

  (c)  The aggressor is justified under some other provision of this chapter or other provision of law;

  (2)  Under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the person whom he or she seeks to protect would not be justified in using such protective force;

  (3)  The actor was attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of a forcible felony.

  2.  A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:

  (1)  He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;

  (2)  Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person; or

  (3)  Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual, or is occupied by an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property, claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.

  3.  A person does not have a duty to retreat:

  (1)  From a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining;

  (2)  From private property that is owned or leased by such individual; or

  (3)  If the person is in any other location such person has the right to be.

  4.  The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of physical restraint as protective force provided that the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

  5.  The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.  If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.

470 thoughts on “Yes, The St. Louis Couple Could Be Criminally Charged But It Would Be No Slam Dunk Prosecution”

  1. “including Mark McCloskey’s assault-style rifle. ”

    It might be helpful if someone explained to Prof Turley the proper definition of words.

    Clearly McCloskey is not holding an assault-style rife, he’s holding a Defender-Style Rifle!

    BTW, I haven’t read all the comments here, but anyone else happen to notice what kind of weapon McCloskey was holding?

    1. It looks like some variant of an AR-15. There are essentially an infinite number of variations of AR-15s so it would be hard to say what brand, but most likely it’s an off the shelf weapon. If he had anything fancier I would expect to act a little more experienced.

    2. As this is an AR, the lower unit can be from any manufacturer, steel and/or composite plastic, the upper “looks” like a 16, caliber 5.56 but hear again could go up to a .450 Brushmaster??

    3. assault style rifle. the AR 15 he means, the preferred weapon of free Americans from coast to coast, aka the black rifle

      get one at a gun store near you, clones for sale in the $800 range. get one fast, we are gonna need them

      a whole case of ammo for practice and a second case for when it jumps off. a case i said not a box

      loaded magazines too. unloaded magazines are useless. take the time and have ten ready.

      1. “jump off” an urban term originoally refering to what would now be considered equivalent to ‘friends with benefits’. A hit it and quit friend.

        Endlessly fascinating that the Boogaloos now use it to describe their wet dream race war.

        1. I wouldnt know about urban terms and Im not a boogerloo. jump off is what everybody calls it in jail when a riot breaks out

          reasonable people don’t want a race war, but they also dont want to get liquidated slowly sliced down year after year like a salami, without a fight

          in July, a lot more white people are ready for it than back in july last year. BLM has sent the message and the message is received loud and clear

  2. Bottom line here is this, people:

    These Marxist revolutionaries are trying to goad the average American citizen into throwing the first punch, or firing the first shot. Then they will deceptively edit any/all videos of the situation, and then enlist the corrupt MSM to do the rest.

    Don’t fall for it. They’ve overplayed their hands in all this rioting, and they know it, which is why they’re branching out into the suburbs.

    Never, EVER pull your weapon for reasons of brandishing, pull it only if you intend to fire it immediately in self-defense.

    1. I agree with the sentiment, but I would certainly stand on my porch with an AR-15 if I felt threatened and thought it might urge the mob to keep moving. I would rather do that than wait for the mob to advance to the point where I’m out numbered and can’t defend myself.

  3. The prosecutor has a duty to the taxpayers not to initiate prosecutions that are unlikely to result in conviction, especially if the state has a provision in law where a defendant having been found not guilty of assault may file a motion before the jury to declare the action as self-defense and mandate the state to reimburse the defendant for their defense costs.

    It is not a proper use of funds and resources to initiate prosecutions having little chance of success.

    1. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner should be removed from office and a complaint made to the state bar association. The mob’s actions (both present and past) constitute a clear and present danger to those people living in a gated community. If a blm/antifa mob appeared down my public street, I daresay that I wouldn’t be the only one standing in my yard with a weapon ready to fire and multiple reloads.

    2. “The prosecutor has a duty to the taxpayers”

      You can stop right there. The prosecutor has zero interest in doing her duty.

    3. Kim Gardner does not seem particularly interested in her legal and ethical duties. But for her encouragement of the mob scenes like this would never happen in the first place.

    4. I agree and yet they do it regularly especially in big cities when the newspapers are commanding the prosecutor on what to do

  4. Uh, er, did you know that sporting rifles such as the one use by the home owner is banned for big game hunting? You can be arrested and fined for using a sporting rifle to hunt deer..

    The round used in the AR-15 platform is design to wound and not necessarily kill. Want to know why? Because a wounded soldier ties other soldiers ability to react due to tending to the wounded person. It is obvious you are woefully uneducated or possibly so brainwashed by the marxist media as to not understand modern weapons and their use.

    1. That’s false. None you should read up on high velocity, small size rounds and the damage they do. Docs testimonies are all over the web as is the physics involved, In short, the damage done increases in a straight line by weight and exponentially by speed.

    2. I have never heard of an AR-15 being illegal for hunting so I won’t take the bait and say it’s never happened, but I doubt they have been singled out. In some places, you can’t use rifles for hunting b/c the bullet can travel too far. Instead you need to use a shotgun with a slug.

      And it’s beyond stupid to say the AR-15 round is designed not to kill. It’s not even worth explaining.

      1. LorenzoValla – when you are trying to shot deer at 400 yards, you do not use a shotgun. 😉

      2. I agree no serious hunter would use an AR-15 for hunting. It’s not only impractical, but it’s overkill for the job.

        1. it’s not overkill if that’s the only rifle you have or the one you are best at shooting. that’s the beauty of freedom of choice.

        2. You must not hunt. I asked some of my friends the weapons they use when humting and the AR-15 comes up so it seems you are spinning stories again. I checked the web out to get a lot of opinions on the AR-15 and they seem to agree with my own. The AR-15 is good for hunting . It is the animal one is hunting for that determines which bullet should be used. The smaller guage would be underkill for larger animals.

          1. depends on state. out west with long ranges they may be great but in a state with narrower fields there may be limitations on deer hunting for example, can only use shotgun or black powder or bow and arrow.

            the issue is not really capacity with hunting guns, it is about keeping people beyond the range safe from flyaway bullets. black powder and heavy shotgun rounds either shot or slug will fall faster., a 223 AR 15 will have a really long range so in some states they’re not suitable for much besides targets

            AND SELF DEFENSE AGAINST DANGEROUS TWO LEGGED PREDATORS

        3. Why would it be “overkill for the job”? The reason no one uses an AR-15 for hunting in my neck of the woods is because the 5.56 (.223 caliber) bullet is too small to pack enough punch to ensure a quick kill on hogs or deer. It may be suitable for smaller game.

      3. Take another look at the gun, it looks to me an AR-10.

        But if you look at past SC rulings on the 2nd & Mark McCloskey’s situation it’s clear why he needs large capacity clips/mags & a grenade launcher.

        Now everyone can see why the P’in Commie/Nazis American hating trash have for so long attempting to dis-arm Americans, separating them from the God Given 2nd.

  5. Does Professor Turley not worry about the optics of providing legal advice to a state official who deplores homeowners defending their property from a trespassing mob, but does not prosecute members of the mob who intimidate, loot and burn with impunity? In fact, today they don’t even enforce any law when it comes to mobs.

    How will mobsters ever be held accountable when officials prosecute those who defend themselves from the mob and not the perpetrators of mob violence? This catastrophic failure of municipal and state leadership is the reason people feel they have to protect themselves because no one else will do it.

    1. He is only analyzing a legal issue, not taking sides. I appreciate the analysis, but if I were on the jury I would acquit. Two different things.

  6. As lawyers, they should have been “cleaning” those guns on the yard in a lounge chair with some hard cover in front. A few rags, some gun oil and an overturned picnic table and guess what? Deterrence with no chance of charges. By the way, always have your best weapon fully loaded while “cleaning” the other unloaded ones. The prosecutor omits the various threats against the couple to kill them and their dog. I’d have fido chained up right there with me with a very rickety chain.

    1. mespo – it is clear this was their “first rodeo.” Tips are coming in from all around the country. I thing a shooting range near them has offered free lessons. 🙂

  7. Given the riots, arson and assaults that have occurred over the last several weeks, without intervention by law enforcement, this is what community policing will look like. Citizens will take up arms and provide the security their elected officials took an oath to provide. Other than critiquing their proper handling of a weapon, what else should they have done? They live in a private, gated community. A large group of trespassers gained access into this community. 911 calls were made and law enforcement didn’t respond. Residents defended their property and nothing more happened. Had the police responded, the only difference in how this was handled would be what? Better handling of their weapons? One could argue that had the police responded, the situation would have likely escalated into actual violence.

    How long will the peaceful citizens tolerate these mayors, DA’s and governors that won’t secure their rights? What’s their options?

    1. Their proper handling of their weapons is the only prosecutable offense according to JT. They might also have better kept a low profile, quietly displaying in a non-threatening but obvious manner their weapons and from their doorway. They wouldn’t have to by law, but given no reported damage elsewhere in the neighborhood, that would have been smart.

      1. The law doesn’t designate the exact way firearms should be handled and faced with a violent mob a non professional can not be expected to hold up to professional standards.

        Their property was invaded knowingly and illegally by a violent mob. They had a right to protect themselves and their property from the mob.

        1. I should add Anon that it appears that you value the safety of your family less than the bility to act professionally when attacked.

        2. Allan, the law is very specific on when and how you can use your weapons. The lady clearly was committing a felony here. She was indiscriminately pointing the gun at the crowd. She can only do that when she can clearly identify the threatening individual. Not at the crowd itself. That’s like pointing a gun at someone who isn’t threatening you directly. It’s a felony crime to point a gun at anyone unless you intend to use it or address a specific individual making the threats.

          It amazes me that so many people saying she has a right to defend herself, but don’t understand that there are laws limiting how exactly she can do that. Owning a gun involves understanding the limits on when and how you can use it and many states have very strict rules on how and when you can use them. The consequences of breaking those rules are usually very severe.

          1. “Allan, the law is very specific on when and how you can use your weapons. The lady clearly was committing a felony here. ”

            Svelaz, copy the portion of the law that proves your point. You always come up empty. I’m waiting for you to reply on Obama vs Trump with regard to showing strength against Russia.

            You are creating the story while you write of what you think the law should be not what it actually is.

            I await the quotes from the law along with your explanation. That will never happen.

            1. I’ve been a gun owner since I was old enough to purchase one. You learn these things when you take a concealed carry permit and the rules differ by state.

              Every responsible gun owner knows these rules are on the books. This is why you see real trained gun owners only point a gun at a threatening individual when they present a real threat. You can unholster your weapon, but not point to clearly signal you mean business.

              Here’s all the info you need to understand.

              “ Under Section 571.030(4) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, it is a crime when a person “[e]xhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.” Such a person “commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons,” which is defined as a class E felony. Such felonies carry up to four years in prison, one year in jail, and/or a $10,000 fine–but are subject to probation.”

              https://www.google.com/amp/s/lawandcrime.com/george-floyd-death/missouri-law-suggests-st-louis-lawyers-could-be-prosecuted-for-threatening-protesters-with-guns/amp/

              “ Keep in mind that threats alone does not mean the attacker has the ability to injure you.”

              https://www.defensivestrategies.org/blog/carrying-a-gun-for-personal-protection

              1. “I’ve been a gun owner since I was old enough to purchase one. ”

                But you pretend to know the gun laws of Missouri when you don’t. You even try to hide your ignorance by posting some points with numbers but who knows where they come from. We know you have lied again.

                Now that people are arming themselves because in certain areas of the country under Democratic rule the violent people that burn down buildings and looters seem to be in charge of the streets I believe we need gun safety to be emphasized. Perhaps every adult citizen should be provided with enough money to buy one or two guns along with the appropriate safety course. Then the citizenry can be armed and safe knowing how and when to shoot.

                If you bothered to educate yourself and Read Turley’s piece you would already know that he posted the relevent law. You don’t read and make no attempt to understand so your big mouth is left with posting only garbage.

                From Turley: “when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person”

                There more than enough reason to perceive such a threat and the couple were good enough not to fire into the mob as the mob was coming towards them.The McCloskey’s demonstrated excellent restraint.

              2. Svelaz, Alan will prod you to post citations. If you post them he will ignore them and accuse you of avoiding the point…, all while he completely avoids the point. Every. Single. Time.

                It’s his game and he doesn’t think it’s obvious to anyone that he’s doing it. He’s completely disingenuous.

                1. Hellvis, I ignore trash. I even checked out your http. You lie and you are ignorant.

                  Every state has its own laws. Turley posted the relevant statute but you don’t bother reading before opening your mouth. Say what you will but those that actually read know the truith. You lie and you don’t know very much.

              1. Neither of those “laws” would pertain and your http doesn’t take one to those rules.

                Of course you don’t realize that each state has different laws so if these are “laws” then you would have to provide the state that those laws exist in.

                You make things up and don’t know what you are talking about.

              2. UUW is in the model penal code and this version seems similar to illinois
                im familiar with its use in charging in Illinois

                trust me that was not UUW but let’s wait and see how it shakes out

                dont think these trial lawyers are going to take a plea on any phony charges., it WILL go to a jury and the jury will aquit

                they will fight it like Robert Kraft is fighting his bogus misdemeanor tooth and nail and doing quite well with it

              3. Are you daft. They were being threatened by a mob. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate what they said isn’t true.

  8. The prosecution is both a political, social and legal traversity. When you take away the right to self-defense, you instill fear. People in fear are dangerous to those making them feel that way. It’s breach of the social contract and the damages to the breacher just start with removal from office.

    1. The only prosecutable offense here would be pointing guns at protesters who are not directly threatening the owners.

        1. Mespo, racist or not mere threats are not enough to justify pointing a gun indiscriminately at a crowd.

          The law states specifically that the only reason to point a gun at anyone is to the person directly issuing the threat and only if they present an imminent threat of harm. Shouting threats doesn’t qualify as imminent threat of injury or death.

          1. Svelaz – 80+ breaking into and trespassing on your property, refusing to leave after repeated commands to leave and one of more issuing threats to them, there dogs and their house, yes, that all rises to the level of a threat.

            1. Paul, the protesters entered a road owned by the HOA. That’s a grey area. They didn’t enter their property itself. They were on a road jointly owned by the gated community.

              Mere threats are not enough justification to indiscriminately point a gun at a crowd. Like I’ve been saying there are very specific instances when you can and cannot point a gun at someone.

          2. racist or not mere threats are not enough to justify pointing a gun indiscriminately at a crowd.

            How do you know it was indiscriminate?

            1. Olly, the video clearly shows the woman doing that. She’s randomly pointing the gun at the crowd. It’s pretty self explanatory.

          3. Let’s think this through.

            At the time the mob was near their home, the homeowners didn’t know for if they would be attacked or not. We know NOW that they weren’t attacked, but we can’t use that fact in determining the options of the homeowners at the time this was happening.

            At the time this was happening, it was still possible that some or many in the mob might advance onto the property and storm the house in attempt to destroy it, kill the homeowners and their dog. Those threats were apparently made and the homeowners saw weapons, which if true, supports that possibility.

            Had the mob decided to storm the yard and house, if there were enough attackers, it’s very doubtful that the homeowners could have shot them all. In fact, it’s likely impossible since they don’t appear to be retired special forces operators.

            As such, it’s an easy case to make that they felt that the mob represented an imminent threat of injury or death and that pointing a gun at them prevented a more violent outcome.

            1. Lorenzo, the presence of he mob only justified drawing their weapons. That should have been enough warning. But the lady was randomly pointing the gun at protesters. That’s the issue. The law states you can’t do that. The husband had a more appropriate stance.

              There’s a specific definition of imminent threat. The couple wasn’t facing an imminent threat. The mob wasn’t being violent which negates the claim of imminent threat. All they were doing was shouting threats which in themselves are not enough justification for pointing her gun indiscriminately at the mob.

              1. They weren’t protestors. By definition, they were all criminals because they were trespassing. And they were being told repeatedly that they were trespassing. They were in the process of committing a crime and some in that group of criminals also engaged in more criminal behavior by threatening the homeowners.

                The law states that you can’t do THAT.

                Fail.

      1. tresspass and breaking and entering the curtilage to do so and then shouting death threats at the landowner rises to felony intimidation. i have seen it charged as such too

    2. Mespo, when you “take away the right to self-defense, you instill fear.” and permit fascist authorities to take away your freedom. This is wny so many stand for the second amendment. Here we see the state overstepping its boundaries threatening the lawful while protecting the criminals.

  9. The real crime here is how that lady is holding her gun. Really? Hand on hip and leisurely holding her gun above her line of sight and with a bent elbow? Obviously she’s had no real training whatsoever.

    The issue about their right to protect their property is irrelevant if they broke the rules on their use of their weapons. Many people don’t understand that there are very specific rules on HOW you can use your guns. A right to bear arms also means a very big responsibility comes with it.

    Pointing a gun in itself constitutes a serious intent and doing it in the haphazard manner that she did IS a felony charge. Gun owners, the ones who really understand the responsibility would know why it’s important to know the distinction of the action vs. the threat.

    Those idiots just made the problem worse for themselves.

    1. Should I ever have to show you a gun, I’m ready to use it. If I have to use a gun, I’m shooting for center mass. If I’m shooting a gun, I will not stop until the threat is eliminated or I no longer have the means to protect myself/my family.

    2. Uh, that’s simply not true. While I agree that she didn’t use property gun safety measures, it’s beyond laughable to suggest that somehow invalidates her right to self defense.

      To illustrate, let’s shift the context. Now she’s in her home and the rioters are inside advancing on her. She uses the same gun waving moves that are technically unsafe and the invaders depart. By your reasoning, her rights are still irrelevant and she’s subject to a felony charge. I hope you can agree that your reasoning is patently absurd.

      1. Lorenzo, nobody is arguing that she doesn’t have a right to defend herself. The issue here is on the fact that there are laws that specifically dictate when and how you can use your weapon.

        Your scenario of rioters INSIDE her home gives her ample justification to fire her gun at anyone INSIDE her home. All pose an imminent threat if they forced their way in.

        The circumstances OUTSIDE her home not inside their actual property line dictate a very different response.

        She had every right to have that gun in her hand, BUT she cannot by law indiscriminately point that gun at the crowd that is not posing an imminent threat to her life or property. It’s still a felony to point a gun at someone who is not being a threat. She’s indiscriminately pointing the gun at the crowd which is the equivalent of pointing a gun at a random individual not posing a threat. It’s a felony offense.

        Too many people don’t understand that owning a gun involves knowing exactly when and how you can use it depending on which state you live in. You can get in serious trouble if you don’t understand exactly what you can and can’t do with your gun. She obviously didn’t and now she may pay the price for her ignorance of the law.

        1. Svelaz, your assessment regarding “OUTSIDE her home not inside their actual property line” is obviously incorrect. It’s clear that the mob was very close to the house–thus INSIDE their property line. No way that a house that nice doesn’t own the nice surrounding lawn right next to same house.

          1. DV, being close doesn’t mean they posed an imminent threat. The protesters were not violent and were not destroying property or brandishing weapons. To claim they posed an imminent threat to them meaning bodily harm requires the couple to prove it in court. That’s going to be hard to do with the current video.

            Being inside or outside require different approaches to justification of using weapons. In Texas it is illegal to shoot an intruder if he/she wasn’t in the house. It is an inside joke in Texas that if you do shoot someone outside your home. You bring the body inside before you call the cops.

            Every state has different situations regarding defense of a home inside and outside.

        2. Do you realize that the right to self defense is not limited to one’s home? If someone attacks you at the mall, you get to fight back. If someone pulls a knife on you at the ATM, you can draw your gun.

          It’s not up to you to decide there was not threat, it’s up to her. If a jury believes that she honestly believed in the threat, then it was a legitimate threat.

          1. DV, as I have been saying ad nauseam. Every state has specific laws regarding when and how you can use your gun for self defense.

            You bring up a knife at an atm. If you have the ability to move put some distance between the attacker and yourself you cannot outright shoot the guy. Using a gun is the very last resort. If you were in a confined space then the justification would be valid. There are miriad scenarios that dictate when you can and cannot pulp a gun or use it legally and they vary by state.

            If someone attacks you at the mall and you miss. You can be liable for hurting bystanders or killing someone other than the attacker.

            She shows no real fear. She’s pacing casually waving that gun randomly at the crowd. She still has her husband brandishing an AR. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t feeling that threatened.

            1. What you’re describing here is known as a “duty to retreat’, but that does NOT apply in Missouri. MO is a “stand your ground” state.

        3. Svalez, did you know that if you are shot or beaten OUTSIDE your house, you could die just as easily as if it happened INSIDE your house? Or maybe that’s not the case where you live??

  10. If the Mckloskies were black and the Klan came out to meet em the world would have no problem with their use of weapons here. White Wives Matter!

  11. Obviously these folks didn’t get the memo and now must pay the price. All “good whites” know that when BLM and/or their allies known as the Brave Masked Wonderful Warriors of Antifa (TM) come calling you are supposed to do one (or several) of the following.

    1. Acknowledge your white privilege and apologize and beg profusely.

    2. Accept BLM/Antifa as your Lord and Savior and pledge to live a better life.

    3. Put yourself in chains and allow BLM to parade you around, if requested.

    4. Lick their boots, if requested.

    If these penitent steps are deemed inadaquate:

    5. Take a beating, if needed, in order to flush out your white privilege.

    6. If still inadequate, allow them to deface and/or destroy your property. After all you probably acquired it through white privilege and due to no efforts of your own.

    7. Under no circumstances are you supposed to protect yourself, family or property.

    8. Under no circumstances are you supposed to cooperate with law enforcement, if you survive or even remember the event after you wake up from the beating.

    Need some help from you lefties out there, what else should be required of these heretics?

    antonio

    1. Many of the protesters were white and McCloskey is presently representing a black youth who accuses the police of brutalizing him during an arrest.

      Antonio only comments when he can spew his usual black hatred and racist BS.

      1. @btb

        I am sure many of the “protestors” were white, what’s your point? The Brave Masked Wonderful Warriors of Antifa (TM) are almost exclusively white. I included both groups in the above post and the proper actions all “goodwhites” should take when confronted with either.

        And BTW in case you DIDN’T get the memo, I cannot be racist, according to Cultural Marxist intersectional theory because I’m Hispanic. Just not the type you like s@@king up to.

        antonio

  12. One point regarding the Castle Doctrine: The entire gated community is private property. Who’s? Does it belong to to the community in some way (maybe through an HOA, holding corporation owned by the community members, trust?). If the McCloskeys have any form of ownership interest in the shared community property, the argument could be made that they were protected by the Castle Doctrine as soon as the “protesters” passed through the gate.

    1. Sailcourt, that may nit necessarily apply. If protesters remained on the road the folks pointing their guns would be in a legal grey area that may not be in their favor. The entire point of owning a gun is to protect your immediate property, your home and your person. To use a weapon in the manner they did without protesters actually coming on to their actual property line other than the shared private property that constitutes the road they might have a reasonable argument, but they cannot use their weapons to “police” the shared private property by pointing weapons at them.

      Protesters shouting threats is not the same as actionable threats. There has to be a very clear intent from protesters to justify pointing a gun at them. Mere shouting isn’t enough.

      1. Then the question comes in…at what point do the protesters actions and threats become actionable. When they first step foot on your property??.

        1. Dr. Frank, they become actionable when protesters physically charge at the owners or start destroying private property. Merely setting foot on the property is no justification to use deadly force. There had to be a clear threat such as another weapon being brandished or overly aggressive behavior clearly intent on harming the owner.

          Shouting threats is not enough legally to indiscriminately point a gun at a crowd.

          1. Svalaz, how do you know for sure that none of the “protestors” (aka mob) were pointing weapons at the couple? You seem to know a lot about what transpired. Were you there? Do you have firsthand video from the couples’ POV? And did you get the heart rate and other medical info regarding the woman to determine that she had no fear? Do tell!

      2. I don’t see that ‘very clear intent’ is in the law, so why are you asserting that?

        The basic premise at play here is that the defender has a right to use deadly force if they reasonably believe their lives are at stake. It does’t matter what YOU or I think, it’s what THEY thought WHILE this was happening.

        They claim they saw weapons and they claim they heard verbal threats made against themselves, their home and their dog. Does that constitute a reasonable fear for their safety? I don’t know and neither do you. One person might react by concluding that the mob is full of hot air and not take the threats seriously. Another person might be influenced by recent events where rioters have destroyed property and attacked the police and conclude that the threats are life threatening.

        Pointing the guns at the crowd might have been unnecessary. But it might have also prevented an advance upon the homeowners. We don’t know and likely never will.

        1. Lorenzo, I’m stating that because the majority of laws regarding deadly use of force have explicit meanings that are strictly adhered to. Phrases such as imminent threat or types of aggression that can be used to justify using deadly force are quite clear in whatever state you reside in.

          Verbal threats alone in any legal sense don’t constitute a reasonable justification for pointing a gun a someone much less randomly at a crowd. Shouting threats alone doesn’t pass the reasonableness test in court. There has to be an actual action or intent to act on those threats such as brandishing a weapon or advancing towards the couple with a weapon. Making assumptions about what the crowd might do is a risk they take in justifying the pointing of their weapons at the crowd.

          The protesters were not “rioting” or destroying property other than forcing a gate open. They were marching towards another area. The owners bringing out their weapons and the lady randomly pointing it at the crowd escalated the situation.

          The only issue they have to contend with is the wife’s stupid decision to randomly point their gun at the crowd.

          If a shot went off she would be legally required to justify why she shot the gun and if she hit someone she would have been required to prove that specific individual was the person directly threatening bodily harm.

          She has no immunity if she hurt or killed a random protester because she was fearful.

          1. Some guy says: “I didn’t hurt that person other than killing him”.

            That’s the logic you’re trying to sell.

      3. Protesters shouting threats is not the same as actionable threats. There has to be a very clear intent from protesters to justify pointing a gun at them. Mere shouting isn’t enough.

        And yet a police officer attempting to handcuff an intoxicated driver, that failed a field sobriety test, can reasonably resist a lawful arrest, assault the police officer(s), run away and shoot a taser at the pursuing officer, because he allegedly feared for his life.

        1. ?? Want to retype that Olly? The “police officer ….. reasonably resist a lawful arrest” and the guy who was shot and killed “allegedly feared for his life”?

          Say what?

          1. Well sure. Interesting that you knew what I meant to say. So if it helps others that don’t, the intoxicated driver…can reasonably resist…

  13. Just listen to the homeowner’s words: there were verbal threats to their lives(and their dog), their property(to burn his house), and one person pulled out a gun, loaded the weapon, and said “you’re next.” He also said there were others in the mob who were armed.

    The only people who should be prosecuted are the members of the mob that broke onto private property and then threatened a man and his family.

    1. Ivan you are right. Everyone of those that were in that mob should be arrested and the leaders along with anyone that had on his person a weapon or unusual defensive gear should be prosecuted and jailed.

    2. Ivan, verbal threats alone are not enough to justify pointing a gun indiscriminately at the crowd. There’s distinction between pointing a gun directly at the person issuing a threat and indiscriminately pointing it at the crowd. If she fired her weapon how would she justify knowing who issued the threat? She can get in real big trouble if she injured or killed the wrong person.

        1. Bingo. Svelaz is apparently a huge believer in 20/20 hindsight. Luckily the lady decided she’d rather be judged by Svelaz than mourned by her family.

  14. Mark and Patricia McCloskey are shown aiming their weapons at the protestors, including Mark McCloskey’s assault-style rifle.

    Now why didn’t that weapon go assault anyone? Seems it was performing as a defense-style weapon.

    1. Olly, the distinguishing characteristics of these type weapons is the fact that they are designed aa killing machines by virtue of being light weight with large clips and firing high-velocity rounds. This type round – because of the laws of physics – can be smaller and yet produce damage which doctors can do little with and also produce low recoil so the shooter can efficiently and more accurately empty their clips.

      1. Boy, that sounds scary. And yet Mr. McCloskey failed to use it as designed then, right? It would not surprise me to learn the anti-2nd amendment crowd, the hate whitey crowd, the BLM leadership, Lefties, anti-Trumpers were hoping for a different outcome. Rich, white couple assault peaceful black protesters with killing machines.

        By the way, do you know any legal gun owners that own firearms designed as wounding machines? And for heaven’s sake, legal gun owners don’t desire to empty their magazines. If they’re proficient in the use of their defensive weapon, a double-tap will do.

        1. Olly, the typical owner is not the problem. They are usually overweight middle aged guys who like to play army. The problem is with mass shooters who do like to empty their clips and load another one.

          “With their diameter roughly one-third that of a dime, the bullets apparently used in the Orlando mass shooting were small.

          Combat surgeons who have treated wounds inflicted by this type of high-velocity rifle, the AR-15 class, say the weapons scare them.

          “The wounds are just otherworldly,” said Penn Medicine trauma surgeon Jeremy W. Cannon, an expert marksman who served with the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. “You’re talking big, giant cavities and a hole you can put your fist through.”

          John M. Porter, chief of trauma at Cooper University Health Care in Camden and a former Army trauma surgeon, said injuries caused by high-velocity rifle rounds are “much harder to fix” than those from a handgun.

          “It actually puts kinetic energy into tissue that it didn’t hit,” Porter said. “It can go next to the blood vessels and still destroy the blood vessels. It can go next to the liver and still destroy the liver.”..”

          https://www.inquirer.com/philly/health/science/20160616_Doctors__High-velocity_Orlando_rifle_inflicts__quot_devastating_quot__wounds.html

          1. What is your argument? Are you suggesting that people defend themselves with weapons that don’t harm others? What would be the point?

            If you’re concerned about what an AR-15 does to criminals shot in the act of committing their crimes, perhaps you might counsel them not to commit those crimes.

            1. Are you suggesting that people defend themselves with weapons that don’t harm others?

              Sure. But didn’t they ban the cap guns we had as kids back in the 60’s?

            2. I’m concerned about high velocity weapons in the hands of mass shooters. The rest of us have no need to kill and maim 30 people in 1 minute.

              1. Well the couple in this post didn’t need to kill and maim 30 people in 1 minute. All they needed is to demonstrate the capacity to do so. The difference between them and the regular police force is the mob apparently expected the homeowners would actually use the force they carried.

                  1. Well, as well as it worked, it should become the preferred tactic for riot control. Just put the crazy lady with a lethal weapon on point.

      2. “Olly, the distinguishing characteristics of these type weapons is the fact that they are designed aa killing machines by virtue of being light weight with large clips and firing high-velocity rounds. This type round – because of the laws of physics – can be smaller and yet produce damage which doctors can do little with and also produce low recoil so the shooter can efficiently and more accurately empty their clips.”
        **********************
        Guns are made to kill, Buffy. Grow up. Oh and it’s not an assault weapon. They are fully automatic weapons used by the military. These guns are the equivalent of a .22 caliber round fired once every time the trigger is pulled. Don’t be afraid of the gun. Be afraid of the shooter which in this case prompted the homeowner’s use of overwhelming deterrence.

        My only criticism is that he had no cover. Better to wait inside behind those concrete walls until the miscreant mob breaks curtilage and then open up. Call the fire department. They’re more likely to respond. Shoot in short bursts with extra clips already loaded. Move your position to avoid flanking.
        Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-XxF8ROEF8

        1. A true assault rifle has a selector switch so you can go from semi automatic fire to full automatic fire.

        2. mespo – and in this case, stay clear of your wife, she is likely to shoot your a$$ off, 😉 It was almost like they were more of a danger to each other than the trespassers. 🙂

  15. On Twitter a picture of a plaque, just like a statue, designates the area as an historic area that was established in 1888 where in 1974 77 of the original homes of 84 were still standing. We had an earlier discussion on whether The Democrat Party should be known as the Democratic Party which they aren’t. Perhaps both designations are wrong and Democrats should be referred to as the Taliban.

    Go down several photos
    https://twitter.com/wakeywakey16/status/1277456340198227968/photo/1

  16. First Amendment. Second Amendment. Both can be asserted by the homeowners and street property owners here. The couple owned all the home and yard and are joint owners with neighbors of the street gate and street and sidewalks.
    Protestors or mob rulers went beyond the Pale and are not protected by the First Amendment. A burglar has no free speech, free protest excuse or free association with other burglars rights.
    The mob were threatening both the husband and wife. Wife had full right to point the gun at them.

    What needs to be done is have Second Amendment organizers put a group together and confront the prosecutor at her home on the street sidewalk in front of her house and call for her resignation. Prosecutor Gardener needs to go back to law school.

  17. I recall 3 men bearing AR-15s standing in front of a store in Minneapolis the first night of rioting there. That store was one of the few in the neighborhood that wasn’t looted/burned. The men were holding their firearms in a manner similar to Mr. McCloskey, and the mob decided to pass them by. Those men weren’t charged. What’s the difference between that situation and the mob issuing threats against the McCloskeys?

    1. AS JT points out, Mr McCloskey is probably not chargeable because he wasn’t pointing it at anyone. His inexperienced wife however was, and while her defense may be her inexperience, that will be up to a jury to determine. Don’t think anyone could be confident on how that would play out.

      1. The potential Achilles heel for both of them is their obvious lack of firearms training as it relates to “Muzzle Discipline”, which means keeping the business end of your weapon pointed either at the sky or at the ground. Had they displayed this basic Gun Safety 101 skillset, we likely wouldn’t be having this conversation.

        Watch and learn from them what NOT to do, folks.

        1. Easy for us to say on the internet. Harder to do when in fear.

          In IDPA back when I used to compete, they would DQ us for violating muzzle safety. We practiced finger off the trigger and watch where you swing it. This requires practice and most folks don’t practice. But they still have the right and the ability to make it happen, like the McCLoskey’s did.

          However, though I have not served nor ever been in a gunfight, I understand that some “rules” and “Best practices” may go out the door under the heat of the moment. I have seen firefights with a lot of “muzzle safety” violations and the main thing was that when people are under a real threat they do what they have to do.

          McCloskeys succeeded in their show of force and tell me, do you think for one second, his wife was bluffing? I don’t./ They weren’t bluffing. That was, accordingly, a superbly successful use of weapons, quibbling over these details is missing the point.

          McCloskey and his wife are heroes to us law abiding citizens who have been bullied by all this chaos and are sick of it. Fight back!

      2. They were on their property and not advancing towards the mob. The mob was advancing from the public streets to a private area where they broke through a fence.

        I would not point the weapon directly at anyone, but her action was totally understandable. If those mobsters didn’t stop in their tracks and her gun went off that would be the fault of the looters.

  18. Fear often leads to understandable irrational behavior, like pointing a gun indiscriminately at people not engaged in a direct threat to you. However, not raised by JT is that other than a gate which barred entrance to the Mayor’s neighborhood, there were no reports of damage to any other property. I.E, the owners’ fear was apparently disproportionate to a threat.

    1. Sorry, but hindsight does not alleviate legitimate fears in the moment. Someone pulls a knife and starts toward you, do you wait to see if he’s actually going to stab you or do you defend yourself under the rational fear that he intends to harm you? Knowing NOW that the “protesters” didn’t do any damage, burn down any houses, kill any dogs (as they reportedly threatened to do) doesn’t mean that fear of such wasn’t rational at the time.

      1. Sailor, we agree I think that the action of the owners was understandable, but if the case is pursued, it will depend on justifying – or not – their fears.

        1. @btb

          I suggest if (or when) BLM and the Brave Masked Wonderful Warriors of Antifa (TM) come calling for YOU, that you give them yourself and property to atone for your white privilege.

          I hate to tell you this, but BLM types hate you also (even as a “goodwhite”) and putting the blood above your door (as in the Passover story) will not protect you.

          antonio

    2. Fear is created when mobs of stupid people vandalize and break into private areas and the police refuse to show up. These people were threatened as soon as the mob broke down and enterred the fence.

      Anon believes that no damage was done. The mob left when they were stopped by people intent on protecting their property. Had they not done that based on all the statues overturned and building destroyed and looted these two brave people prevented that from happening to their home and the homes of their neighbors.

      Stupidity like is seen in your response leads to a reaction that is going to lead to people fighting one another in the streets. You have no regard for law and order. You have no regard for individuals that think differently than you.

      The lawyer defending his property defended the type of criminal that invaded his property and at the moment is dealing with one case representing a client against the police department. I wonder what is in his mind as we speak.

      Paying homage to these violent vandals and looters doesn’t work.

      1. From what is reported to date, no property was damaged other than the gate which was the entry to the neighborhood. The McCloskey’s house was not the target, but along the path to the Mayor’s home. If no one else’s home in the neighborhood was damaged, the McCloskey’s fears were probably overblown and their actions incendiary.

        1. PS I’m surprised that in his otherwise thorough review of the incident JT did not bring this up as a possible issue if the case is pursued.

          1. book you are on the side of chaos, lawbreaking and disorder in this conversation. tsk tsk i thought a well heeled retiree like you could appreciate the good sense of these folks not to appear weak before a mob.

            would you have got down and bowed and scraped and kissed their sneakers and offered them free lemonade?

            1. Kurtz, I am neither well-heeled or retired though I lead a solidly middle class life.

              I have stated that the actions of the owners was understandable but the wiser course would probably be to quietly make their armed presence known. Based on the fact that there have been no other reported incidents involving these protesters, the owners’ actions were almost certainly counterproductive.

              1. how were they supposed to know this mob was going to back down? you speak from hindsight and a field of view after the fact which they did not have

                these people were not “racists” they were law abiding homeowners in fear of their lives. you should have some sympathy for them– one day that might be you and nobody in the mob will care how you volunteered for civil rights or voted or donated Democrat; they wont care. they will just see your solidly middle class life and your white skin and think because of your “White privilege” that yours is theirs for the taking

                if they can

                they couldn’t take from the McCloskeys that day; McCloskeys are tough as nails

                they will be hounded out of town however, perhaps it might be counterproductive from a persepctive years hence; but it is unfair to count that for them from our perspective. their lives are their own. for my part i admire the courage.

        2. Ummmmm…, “….no property was damaged other than the gate which was the entry to the neighborhood.”

          Isn’t that enough to constitute criminal trespass?

          “The McCloskey’s house was not the target…”

          How were the McCloskeys to know that, or to assume that they were “safe”, particularly after this exchange?:

          “One fellow standing right in front of me pulled out two pistol magazines, clicked them together and said “You’re next”. That was the first death threat we got that night,” Mark McCloskey said.

          They called the police and got their weapons AFTER the “You’re Next” comment, which is quite important contextually.

          Did they paint themselves in a bad light for their obvious lack of weapons training? Sure.

          Did anyone receive “damages” because of their actions?

          No, and hurt feeling don’t count.

          1. Va Gent – It was nice of the protester/rioters to use their cellphones because a data dump can locate all of them in front of that house at that time. The police are not as stupid as the rioters think they are. 😉

            1. Good observation, Paul! Hand’t thought of that one, and I don’t think being in “Airplane Mode” would actually erase your location signature either.

              Another observation: These rioters aren’t as clever as they think they are…

        3. I can only think that if your wife and daughter were going to be raped and tortured you would permit that to happen on the basis that you couldn’t be sure what was going to happen. Instead you would take out your camera and video what was happening in front of your eyes so that you could prove that the one’s that entered your property were violent rapists and you were safe from being accused of an overreaction.

        4. Everything you say is conjecture. The McCloskey’s defended their property. You don’t know the target or what was going to happen or change in the next few minutes. We have already seen people killed and buildings burned and looted. You can have the opinion that their fears were overblown after the fact but during the incident they felt differently and protected their property as was their right.

          The mobsters left so that proves what the McCloskey’s did effectuated a lawful evacuation of the premises by the mobsters.

        5. You can make such judgements only after the fact. With that as the standard, there would be no such thing as threat.

        6. We all know that criminal trespassers are a well organized and well behaved group of fellas who just like to have unscheduled chats with their elected leaders. I’m surprised the homeowners didn’t just stand and applaud the procession for exercising their 1st amendment rights. Boy, they really let that opportunity pass and now some people might think they’re racists.

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