Mark McCloskey, the wealthy attorney from St. Louis’s Central West End gated community who went viral on Monday after he and his wife emerged from their home and waved guns, including an AR-15 assault rifle, at Black Lives Matter protesters who were marching toward Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house, hit the cable news shows on Tuesday night with his lawyer to defend himself.
McCloskey laid the scene out for Tucker Carlson on FOX News: “They’re angry, they’re screaming, they’ve got spittle coming out of their mouth. They’re coming toward the house. … When I saw that mob come through the gate with their rage and their anger, I thought that we would be overrun in a second. By the time I was out there with my rifle, the people were 20 or 30 feet from my front wall. … I was literally afraid that within seconds they would surmont the wall come into the house, kill us, burn the house down and everything that I had worked for and struggled for for the last 32 years.”
Asked Carlson: “What do you make of the attacks on you for doing what we used to believe every homeowner had an obligation to do. Why are they denouncing you as a racist?”
“I’ve spent my career defending people that are defenseless,” replied McCloskey. “For people that are having a hard time making their miracle happen, for people that don’t have a voice. My black clients love us. The night that this happened, I had some of our black clients calling us up till 2:30 in the morning telling us how wrong it was the way the the press writing us up, telling how wrong it was that we should be portrayed as racists. To call us racist is ridiculous and it had nothing to do with race. I wasn’t worried what the race was of the mob that came through my gate, I was worried that I was going to be killed. I didn’t care what race they were.”
In the next hour, McCloskey also appeared on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show.
Asked Cuomo: “How do you feel about becoming the face of political resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement?”
Replied McCloskey: “First of all, that’s a completely ridiculous statement. I’m not the face of anything opposing to Black Lives Matters movement. I was a person scared for my life, protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood, I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate. I didn’t care what color they were. I didn’t care what their motivation was. I was frightened. I was assaulted and I was in imminent fear they would run me over, kill me.”
Asked if anything happened to him or his property, McCloskey replied, “Yeah, it’s called social intimidation, terrorism. What is the definition of terrorism, to use violence and intimidation, that’s what happened to me. That’s the damage I suffered. … Any pretense of protests as opposed to terrorism ended when they broke through that gate.”
Cuomo then engaged in a back-and-forth with McCloskey’s lawyer Albert Watkins about why Trump retweeted the video of the McCloskey’s defending their house.
“I’m not going to speak for the president, in fact, quite frankly, I find it probably an impossibility for anyone to speak for the president,” Watkins replied. “That’s assuming one wants to say the president speaks.”
Said Cuomo: “I don’t even know what the hell you are talking about. …. I don’t like that you have been weaponized for political means. … You said ‘I didn’t want to come on the show.’ Listen, I think I’m fair. I’m not going to use you as a pawn to advance my own agenda, like the show you just went on [referring to Tucker Carlson]. … You have been used and politically weaponized as a face of white resistance to that movement. And that’s why I asked you that, not because that’s how you see yourself, but that’s how you’re being seen.”
Replied Watkins: “My client has since the very outset of this publicity made it really, really clear, the last thing he wanted to do. He and his wife are both appalled at the prospect of being utilized as a rallying call for people sitting in Barcaloungers with a Confederate flag behind them and a 12-gauge in their hand. My clients have fought for lawyers as three-plus decades for the civil rights of people of color. My clients are completely behind and endorsed the message of BLM. What they are not capable of doing is embracing the abject utilization of that noble message that we all need to hear over and over and over again as a license to rape, rob, pillage, bowl over all of our rights.”
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said on Monday she is investigating the McCloskeys: “I am alarmed at the events that happened over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated. My office is currently working with the public and the police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: We will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”