The St. Louis owner who pointed a gun at protesters says he “was the victim of a mob” and is not opposed to Black Lives Matter

“I was a person scared for my life, I was protecting my wife, my home, my home, my livelihood. I was the victim of a mob that came through the door,” Mark McCloskey told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.

He said it is “ridiculous” to consider him the face of opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement after the incident.

“I didn’t care what color they were. I didn’t care what their motivation was,” McCloskey said. “I was scared. I was robbed.”

Videos obtained by CNN show McCloskey, with a long rifle, and his wife, with a pistol, outside their St. Louis home around 7:30 pm Sunday. They are seen brandishing weapons as protesters walked outside the house, protesting Mayor Lyda Krewson’s decision to publish the names and addresses of people in favor of police reform. Portland Place, the private street where McCloskey lives, is close to Krewson’s home.

McCloskey told CNN that the mayor’s house cannot be reached through his neighborhood and that hundreds of protesters entered through a private door. He said protesters threatened to kill him and his dogs and burn his home.

In two eyewitness videos, the McCloskeys and protesters appear to be exchanging words, but what is said is unclear.

McCloskey said his actions and those of his wife were justified.

“My clients are completely behind and they endorsed the BLM message,” said McCloskey’s attorney, Albert S. Watkins. “What they are not able to do is embrace the abject use of that noble message that we all need to hear over and over again as a license to violate, steal, and plunder all of our rights.”

Details of the contested protests

McCloskey said he stopped viewing the meeting as a protest when he alleges protesters walked through a wrought-iron gate.

Daniel Shular, a local reporter who took one of the videos obtained by CNN and said he saw the entire incident of approximately 10 minutes in length, said he A door opened next to the Portland Place gate and protesters used it to walk through the neighborhood.

In a video broadcast live on Facebook, the first protesters entering the private street keep the door of the left door open. That video doesn’t show how the door was opened the first time.

However, a second Facebook Live video taken later shows the door to the right door bent and broken on the ground.

Couple from San Luis pulls firearms against protesters who cross their private street

McCloskey leaves the house 20 seconds later, and both videos show a heated, often profane, back-and-forth between the couple and the protesters.

Once through the door, (the McCloskeys) informed the group that they were “on a private street and breaking into and told them to leave,” according to police. The couple told police that the group began shouting obscenities and threatened to harm them.

“When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they armed themselves and contacted the police,” the report says.

Shular told CNN that he saw some armed people at the protest, but that “no one pointed their weapons at the people in the house.”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department told CNN that it is investigating the incident. City Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner told CNN in a statement that she was alarmed by the events and that her office is investigating.

“We must protect the right to protest peacefully, and any attempt to cool it down by intimidation or threat of lethal force will not be tolerated,” he said in his statement. “Make no mistake: We will not tolerate the use of force against those who exercise their First Amendment rights, and we will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”

Which led to the protests.

Protesters passing through Portland Place were on their way to Krewson’s home, avoiding nearby road closures that blocked access to the mayor’s home.

They were encouraged by their reading of the names and addresses of the people calling for police reform. The names and addresses he read were submitted as part of the public comments to the St. Louis County Council.

Calls for resignation increase after St. Louis Mayor publishes names of people calling for police reform

On Friday, the mayor apologized on Twitter, saying he had no intention of hurting anyone.

“I would like to apologize for identifying the people who presented letters to me today at City Hall. This was during one of my Facebook updates when I answered routine questions,” Krewson said in a tweet. “I never intended to harm anyone or cause distress. The update is removed and again, I apologize.”

CNN has reached out to the mayor of St. Louis and protest organizers about the incident, but has yet to receive a response.

CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji contributed to this report.


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