You might not know who Mark McCloskey is, but by now, you’ve definitely seen the pictures of him and his wife brandishing guns as a mob of protesters headed their direction.
The McCloskeys have quickly become a viral sensation, sparking intensely critical and hateful comments across social media. Some critics were even doxxing the St. Louis couple, posting personal identifying information.
On Sunday, Black Lives Matter protesters forced their way into a gated community in which the McCloskeys live and demanded the resignation of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson (D), who also lives in the private neighborhood.
When the angry group began storming toward the McCloskeys — both of whom are personal injury attorneys — they came out of their home with guns, Mark with an AR-15-style rifle and Patricia, his wife, with a pistol. They faced a lot of criticism, even from Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch, who took issue with the way the couple were brandishing their firearms.
McCloskey told KMOV-TV that a “mob of at least 100” rioters “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 of our lives.”
“This is all private property,” he added. “There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned, and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said her office is investigating the encounter.
In a statement, she said she is “alarmed at the events that occurred … where peaceful protesters were met with guns and a violent assault.” Gardner went on to say, “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.”
What don’t I know?
There are some details about the McCloskeys people aren’t hearing while so many on social media are busy painting them as the enemy, villainizing them for a snap decision they made when faced with the threat of an angry mob of rioters.
Mark McCloskey, 63, told KSDK-TV he is actually supportive of the work against police brutality. In fact, as a lawyer, he represents victims of police-sanctioned violence.
“I do civil rights cases,” he said. “Right now, I’m representing a young man who was assaulted by the police who is sitting in prison right now for being involved in a car accident after which the police came in and assaulted him. It’s on video.”
“I’m not some kind of extreme, you know, anti-Black Lives Matter guy,” McCloskey continued. “I do these cases. I have been doing them for decades. I mean, I have on the wall of my conference room — I’ve got an anti-slavery broadsheet, the abolitionist broadsheet from 1832. It’s been there as long as I’ve owned this building. I mean, I’m not the enemy of people that really care about black lives, but I’m apparently the enemy of the terrorists and the Marxists that are running this organization.”
According to the Daily Mail, McCloskey previously represented a man identified in legal documents as I.F. His client was reportedly kicked and struck by police officer David Maas in dash-cam footage purportedly showed I.F. peacefully surrendering.
The initials “I.F.” match a 2019 civil lawsuit made by Isaiah Forman, who made similar allegations. At the time, the 21-year-old was driving a car that had been taken by another man at gunpoint. The suit against Maas claimed Forman “surrendered peaceably.” Nevertheless, the officer’s force resulted in “bodily injury” as well as his right to be “free from unreasonable force.”
At the time, McCloskey said: “I’m glad that the law enforcement agencies are subject to the same standard as everybody else.”
In March, Maas was charged with one count of deprivation of rights.