Black Live Matter

Grand jury indicts couple who pointed guns at protesters

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner had issued felony charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey in June for unlawful use of a weapon

.uspg
US PRESS GROUP

A grand jury in St. Louis on Tuesday indicted Mark and Patricia McCloskey on counts of exhibiting a weapon and tampering with evidence four months after footage circulated showing the couple pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home.

The couple's attorney, Joel Schwartz, said the grand jury reached the decision after the McCloskeys appeared before a judge earlier in the day, NBC affiliate KSDK reported.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner had issued felony charges against the couple in June for unlawful use of a weapon. The grand jury added the tampering-with-evidence charge on Tuesday.

In the now-viral videos from the June incident, the couple can be seen standing outside their home, each holding a firearm — Mark McCloskey with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey with a handgun.

Soon after the footage circulated on social media, the couple told CBS affiliate KMOV that they pointed their guns at protesters in self-defense.

“I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds. Our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed,” Mark McCloskey said in the interview.

President Trump defended the couple, arguing they were “going to be beat up badly if they were lucky.”

The McCloskeys were then invited to speak at the Republican National Convention in August, with Patricia McCloskey claiming that a win for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in November would “bring crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into now-thriving suburban neighborhoods.”

St. Louis police last month issued summonses to nine protesters for trespassing onto a private street during the June incident. Police spokesperson Evita Caldwell told The Associated Press at the time that authorities were still deciding whether to file formal charges against the demonstrators.

The AP reported that about 300 people were protesting in the area, with the group marching onto a private street. Protesters have said that a gate to the street was open, though the McCloskeys claimed that the demonstrators broke through.

Read more

Judge rules South Carolina restaurant manager owes more than $500K to worker

A judge ruled that a former South Carolina restaurant manager who forced a Black man with intellectual disabilities to work more than 100 hours a week without pay, owes the former employee more than $500,000. According to The Post and Courier, Bobby Paul Edwards, 56, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for forcing John Christopher Smith, 43, to work at J&J Cafeteria without pay.

Judge denies requests to release body-cam video of shooting

A judge on Wednesday denied requests to release body-camera video in the case of a Black man who was shot to death by North Carolina deputies as they tried to arrest him on drug-related warrants. Judge Jeffery Foster said he believed the videos contained information that could harm the investigation or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage. He said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days.

Cicil rights: Will the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict change policing in America?

The jury’s guilty verdict on the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd signaled the conclusion of a historic police brutality trial and a key moment for policing and for the battle for racial equality in America. Observers have talked about this case being so significant that it will stand as a watershed between the way law enforcement was held to account in the US before George Floyd was pinned by the neck under Chauvin’s knee, and after.

US police and public officials donated to Kyle Rittenhouse, data breach reveals

A data breach at a Christian crowdfunding website has revealed that serving police officers and public officials have donated money to fundraisers for accused vigilante murderers, far-right activists, and fellow officers accused of shooting black Americans. In many of these cases, the donations were attached to their official email addresses, raising questions about the use of public resources in supporting such campaigns.