by Jake Dima
The nine people who were cited for allegedly trespassing on Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s property during a June standoff will not be prosecuted, St. Louis officials announced Tuesday.
The group was issued summonses during the beginning of September, but City Counselor Michael Garvin said “prosecution is not warranted” and the arrestees would not have to face criminal proceedings, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The felony charge of unlawful use of weapon levied against the McCloskeys is still pending, the local outlet reported.
Garvin said the decision came after the city reviewed video, conducted interviews and spoke to local homeowners who claimed they didn’t want to press charges against the group, the Post-Dispatch reported.
One of the persons cited claimed police issued the “citations to harass and intimidate.”
“The St. Louis Police Department sent these citations to harass and intimidate witnesses in the McCloskey case, and to chill the first amendment rights of protestors,” Micah Hainline, one of the people cited, told the Post-Dispatch.
“It was clearly trespassing and the McCloskeys were clearly within their rights to do what they did,” former McCloskey lawyer Joel Schwartz told the local outlet.
The affluent couple was seen on video on their property with an AR-15 rifle and a concealable semi-automatic handgun as a large group of demonstrators flooded their gated community in late June. Patricia McCloskey said demonstrators threatened to end their lives and move into their home.
“[They said] that they were going to kill us,” Patricia McCloskey told Fox News in July. “They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house.”
“They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom and that’s going to be the living room and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room,’” she said.
In a video posted to social media, peaceful protesters in St. Louis calling for police reforms walked past a couple brandishing firearms as they were ordered to stay away from the couple’s home https://t.co/bYl06iAiTo pic.twitter.com/wOZ1Wr3yac
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 29, 2020
St. Louis Police officers executed a search warrant on the couple’s home a few weeks after the incident and seized an AR-15 rifle, Mark McCloskey told radio host Todd Starnes shortly after the search. The city tacked on a felony charge to the couple shortly after the rifle seizure and the pair was issued a criminal citation, according to a separate Post-Dispatch report.
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Jake Dima is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “McCloskeys” by Reuters.