ST. LOUIS — Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple that gained national attention after photos and video showed them brandishing guns at protesters in late June, will be in the national spotlight again when they speak at the Republican National Convention.
The McCloskeys will speak at the online convention, which is scheduled for Aug. 24 through 27, according to Al Watkins, one of the lawyers representing the couple.
Watkins said they were called by Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff. They will appear during the first night of the convention.
The McCloskeys were charged with unlawful use of a weapon/flourishing after video showed them brandishing guns at protesters who were on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house. The group was upset with Krewson's decision to say the names of those who wrote to her, urging her to close the city jail, known as The Workhouse.
In a statement announcing the charges, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said the McCloskeys waved their weapons in a "threatening manner" at "peaceful, unarmed protesters."
After the charges were announced, President Donald Trump, Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt — all Republicans — condemned the charges.
An attorney for the McCloskeys said the case was further politicized when Gardner used it in campaign literature.
Attorney Joel Schwartz said Gardner should be disqualified from the case, citing a July 17 campaign email in which was sent three days before the McCloskeys were charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
“The July 17th email drew a direct line from the incident, which had not yet resulted in criminal charges, to Ms. Gardner’s political antagonists and from there to a call for donations to further her re-election efforts,” he wrote. “It implied that the defendant was among those ‘perpetuating a system of systemic racism and police brutality.’”