Two St. Louis residents, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, are scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention (RNC) Monday night.
In an incident that was caught on video on June 28, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, a group of protesters was attempting to convene on the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. In the wake of the George Floyd protests, the mayor had publicly read the names of individuals who called for the defunding of the St. Louis Police Department.However, the Central West End neighborhood of century-old stately mansions is private, meaning that it's not accessible to the general public without breaching a security gate and that is what the protesters reportedly did.
As the group walked past the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple, who would later claim they feared they were being attacked by a mob, emerged from their home holding guns and appeared to point them at protesters. Patricia was holding what appeared to be a handgun, while Mark held what looked like an assault rifle.
While virtually unknown on the national stage up until a few months ago, who are the two Missouri residents that have since become prominent among conservatives?
They're Both Personal Injury Attorneys
As The Trace reported, the couple had, for decades, run a personal injury law practice in St. Louis, during which they litigated some cases related to guns.
Specifically, Mark had represented plaintiffs in multiple cases involving weapons manufactured by Bryco Arms. Pistols manufactured by the company had a reputation in the 1990s and 2000s for being of exceptionally poor quality and prone to accidentally discharging.
In one case, Chronister v. Bryco, McCloskey argued that the company was liable for a defective design that caused one of its handguns to misfire in a man's hand with the chamber open, resulting in a $350,000 verdict for the plaintiff.
They Have A History Of Filing Lawsuits Against Their Neighbors
As The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last week, the couple has been involved in litigation against their neighbors almost continually since the moved into the gated community in 1988.
In one case, they alleged that the neighborhood was violating its own rules by allowing a gay couple to live there (the neighborhood covenants prohibit unmarried couples from living in homes within its boundaries). In another, Mark reportedly took exception to a nearby synagogue installing beehives in order to harvest honey for an upcoming holiday, and reportedly smashed the beehives and sued the group. In another, they sued the Central West End Association for using a photo of their house without permission in a brochure for a house tour.
They Believe The Protest Incident Has Ruined Them
Days after the confrontation, as MarketWatch reported, Mark told CNN's Chris Cuomo that his life has been "ruined" over the incident, although he didn't specify what he meant.
The couple have also each been charged with one count of unlawful use of a weapon, which is a class E felony and can carry a sentence of up to four years in prison and a fine of $10,000. However, Missouri Republican Governor Mike Parson has criticized that decision and has said that he would "absolutely" pardon them if they were convicted.
Further, the couple have gotten support from conservatives far and wide, including those who staged a demonstration in opposition to the criminal charges filed against them.