Prosecutor Charges Couple Defending Themselves Against Demonstrators

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said Monday she’s charging the couple who flashed guns at a crowd marching to the mayor’s home last month, further igniting the gun-rights debate.

Gardner, the city’s top prosecutor, said Mark and Patricia McCloskey will be charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon following the June 28 incident.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner — that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis,” Gardner said in a statement. She added that she was recommending a diversion program as an alternative to jail.

The McCloskeys have said many times they were defending themselves, with tensions high in St. Louis and other cities over race and law enforcement. They said that the crowd of demonstrators broke an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, and that some violently threatened them.

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