On Monday morning — just a day after he tweeted a video of a supporter shouting “white power” — President Trump retweeted a clip of a St. Louis couple who had pointed guns at a group of protesters on Sunday.
The video shows a couple, identified by local media as lawyers Mark and Patrica McCloskey, pacing barefoot around the front of their mansion. Mark, in a pastel polo and khakis, is holding a rifle. Patricia, in a striped top and cropped pants, carries a pistol.
The protesters were on their way to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson to call for her resignation, after she was accused of doxxing demonstrators last week. In a Facebook Live Q&A Friday, Krewson read the names and addresses of people who submitted suggestions on how to reallocate city funds away from police and toward social services.
On Monday morning, the couple gave a statement to a local TV station defending their behavior:
“A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear of our lives. This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”
But a St. Louis University law professor told KSDK that the McCloskeys may have broken the law by pointing their guns at protesters.
According to Saint Louis University Lawyer John Amman, their actions could possibly be classified as assault by putting protesters in fear of their safety.
People have a right to threaten force if they are threatened, Amman said. However, if a group of protesters is walking by a home and not doing anything to the homeowners specifically, then they don’t have the right to threaten lethal force without an imminent threat.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted (and then deleted) a video of a man shouting “white power” at anti-Trump protesters. Within the first eight seconds of the clip, filmed at the Florida senior community The Villages, a man driving a golf cart adorned with pro-Trump signs yells the phrase at demonstrators who had called him “racist.” After Trump’s tweet was deleted, the White House said the president “did not hear the one statement made on the video.”