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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, October 07, 2020

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. ... 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.

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This couple are attorneys. Evidence tampering is kind of a big deal in their profession.

#1 | Posted by rcade at 2020-10-07 11:40 AM | Reply

Have any details emerged regarding what the evidence tampering entailed?

Last night I was not able to find any.

There was something about a gun being "fixed" but that may not be what the grand jury noted.


#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-10-07 12:07 PM | Reply

Trump hasn't pardoned them yet?

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-07 12:16 PM | Reply

Good.

They should both be in prison.

#4 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-10-07 12:55 PM | Reply

I read that they claimed that the pistol the wife was holding was not able to fire, as it had been rendered inoperable because it had been used as a 'prop' in court during a lawsuit, however, someone involved in the case came out later and reported that it had been returned to working order after the trial was over.

OCU

#5 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-10-07 02:33 PM | Reply

@#3 ... Trump hasn't pardoned them yet? ...

Are these state or federal charges?

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-10-07 02:35 PM | Reply

@#5

Yeah, I saw that also, but the details in that were skimpy. From what I read (posted in a similar thread that never made it off the back page), if such a change were made to the gun, it would not be the couple being charged.

That's why I asked for more detail. With the current info, it seems the grand jury charged the couple with tampering.

So, I'm confused.

{shrug}

#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-10-07 02:38 PM | Reply

I currently have an interesting felony case that has some different facts.

Someone knocks on client's front door in the middle of the afternoon. Client is not expecting anyone at that time.
Client opens the door and points a gun at the person. Client recognizes the person as an employee of the fire department following up on an incident from the day before. The person asks, 'Is that a real gun?', and the client says, 'yes', while still pointing the gun. Turns out it was a was fake gun (a replica).

What crime has this client committed? Brandishing? Unlawful threatening? What about if he had not pointed the gun at the person at the door but merely been holding it at the ready in his hand? Does it matter that it is a fake gun? Does it matter that this was the middle of the afternoon and not the middle of the night? Does it matter that after a few moments he recognized the person?

Personally, given the client's lack of any criminal history, I think this has been overcharged as a felony. It should be at most a misdemeanor with appropriate terms of probation regarding firearm possession, storage and usage.

#8 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-10-07 02:50 PM | Reply

That feels like a prosecution that would never happen if the visitor was not a government official.

#9 | Posted by rcade at 2020-10-07 03:31 PM | Reply

"What crime has this client committed?"

Being black?

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-07 05:35 PM | Reply

Nope. Latino. But I don't think this case is racial in nature. I think it is about what are the limits of 2nd Amendment gun possession within one's own household. And in response to #9, I suspect that if the visitor was not a government official, the incident would never have been reported.

#11 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-10-07 06:37 PM | Reply

What's the actual crime, from the government's perspective? Because I don't see one.

#12 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-07 06:48 PM | Reply

"They should both be in prison."

Really?

Before the trial?

What about the protesters who were on their property illegally?

#13 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:57 AM | Reply

The hick governor is just going to pardon these fearfull wackos. Oh well.

#14 | Posted by Brennnn at 2020-10-08 06:35 AM | Reply

"Someone knocks on client's front door in the middle of the afternoon. Client is not expecting anyone at that time.
Client opens the door and points a gun at the person.

#8 | POSTED BY MODER8 AT 2020-10-07 02:50 PM | REPLY | FLAG"

I find it amazing that the comments about this incident focus on the legal technicalities and 2nd amendment issues, rather than the fact that some US citizens feel the need to answer the door with a gun in their hand.

I know of no other 1st world country where this would be accepted as a norm and it is a sorry indictment of the current state of American society that so many citizens live in fear and respond to that fear in such a way as to compound the problem.

#15 | Posted by Foreigner at 2020-10-08 10:07 AM | Reply

#15 - I agree foreigner. I work from home currently and due to the way the sun hits the front of my house I close the livingroom blinds just after lunch time. Someone rang my doorbell Tuesday afternoon and I didnt even consider grabbing a gun to answer the door even though I was not expecting anyone, have no peep hole on my door (just some stained glass at the top that I cant see through), and did not look through the blinds.

#16 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-10-08 10:15 AM | Reply

on their property illegally?

#13 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Link for that? Walking past a house on a street is not considered on the homeowners property. The protesters passed through a gate and walked down the road. Nobody trespassed onto their property that I have seen reported. The wife had her finger on the trigger - big no no. Face it, this couple was wrong. They could have stood in their yard strapped instead of drawn and brandishing.

#17 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-10-08 10:19 AM | Reply

"Link for that? Walking past a house on a street is not considered on the homeowners property."

"However, a live stream from the front of the march shows that the first protesters walked through an intact gate that was being held open. Freelance photographer and University of Missouri journalism graduate student Daniel Shular told the BBC that the gate was unlocked when the first marchers entered. "People just walked up to it and opened the gate," he said, estimating he was the sixth person through. "It looked normal to me when I passed through."

Most legal analysts agree that the protesters were trespassing when they entered Portland Place."

Demonstrators shouted back at McCloskey that the street is "public property," which is not true of Portland Place - it is private property owned by a trust. Residents pay towards its management and the upkeep of the street, as well as private security.

www.bbc.com

#18 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 10:41 AM | Reply

When is that gate ever locked? Everything I have seen shows that it is open for the public to use as a pass through. You cant have the rules be both ways. Public pass through up to the moment you want to keep specific people from its use. My sister-in-law and her husband own a house in an actual gated community (with no public passthrough gate) and have to pay in to the private street maintenance, but still cant press trespassing charges against someone for being on the street or sidewalk in front of their home. Aiming a gun at someone walking by with your finger on the trigger is beyond all reason.

#19 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-10-08 10:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"When is that gate ever locked? Everything I have seen shows that it is open for the public to use as a pass through. You cant have the rules be both ways."

Your argument isn't with me, it's with the legal analysts. Private property is private property. If you're not authorized to be there, you have no right to think you should be.

And if you're actually from Idaho, you know that signs posted signalling private property are there for a reason. They're not an invitation to enter. And you certainly don't stay on the property if you're told to leave.

I own a house in a gated community. There are signs at each of the gates indicating that it is a private community for residents and their guests. The gates stay open during the day, anyone can technically come or go as they please, but you couldn't hold a protest there without the consent of the HOA, which would be unlikely.

#20 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 11:01 AM | Reply

"My sister-in-law and her husband own a house in an actual gated community (with no public passthrough gate) and have to pay in to the private street maintenance, but still cant press trespassing charges against someone for being on the street or sidewalk in front of their home."

In this case some of the trespassers were given summonses, but the trustees for that neighborhood made it clear that they didn't want to pursue the charges.

#21 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 11:04 AM | Reply

"Aiming a gun at someone walking by with your finger on the trigger is beyond all reason."

It's a bit extreme, but remember. The people were trespassing on private property. According to the homeowners, some of them were displaying violent behavior. It's as much on the trespassers as it is on the homeowners.

Oh, and as to the gate. Open or closed, it was destroyed by the time this thing was over.

Before:

www.google.com

After:

www.google.com

#22 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 11:07 AM | Reply

#20 - I don't think there is an issue as to whether there was trespass on private property. The issue seems to me to be who owns that property.

In this case it seems to be a trust holding common property for the benefit of all residents. The McCloskey's do not own the property in the true ownership sense - it is not " their property " as you describe it and this being the case, they may or may not have the same rights of armed defense that extend to what is indisputably their property.

This extract from the same article you linked illustrates the point:

"According to analysis by St Louis Post-Dispatch investigative reporter Jeremy Kohler, video evidence does not show the protesters crossing onto the McCloskeys' property, remaining instead on the sidewalks and in the roadway."

This is a legal technicality I don't have the answer to - do you?

#23 | Posted by Foreigner at 2020-10-08 11:18 AM | Reply

It appears to be communal HOA property. If they had just stayed inside and posted up this wouldn't be a thing, but the lady ran around pointing a pistol at people with her finger on the trigger.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-10-08 11:27 AM | Reply

I hope it costs them a fortune in legal fees.

Karma is a bitty.

#25 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-10-08 12:06 PM | Reply

Demonstrators shouted back at McCloskey that the street is "public property," which is not true of Portland Place - it is private property owned by a trust. Residents pay towards its management and the upkeep of the street, as well as private security.
www.bbc.com

#18 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

The street is not public property but the McCloskey's also don't have the right to limit who can traverse it.
As I explained when this first happened, we have thousands of private streets and sidewalks all over St. Louis. Any that connect public thoroughfares or to public lands, like Portland Place, are easements. I have one on my property. It's really not much more than a driveway that wraps around to the garage behind my house but it also provides pedestrians access to a pond that is on public property that my garage backs up to. I own the land and I am responsible for the upkeep but I cannot legally restrict others from using it to access the pond unless I go get a temporary permit from the city to close it off for maintenance. Not that anyone has ever done so but it would only become a trespass if they loitered on that stretch of the driveway or jumped the chain link fence I have up running parallel to it.

#26 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-10-08 12:37 PM | Reply

If she hadn't pointed her pistol I wouldn't see the big deal here.

#27 | Posted by hamburglar at 2020-10-08 12:45 PM | Reply

When is that gate ever locked? Everything I have seen shows that it is open for the public to use as a pass through.
#19 | POSTED BY JUSTAGIRL_IDAHO

It's not normally locked. I had an office near there for a while. I have on occasion cut through Portland Place walking/biking to get over a taco place in the Central West End. I wave at their security guard when I see him.

#28 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-10-08 12:55 PM | Reply

This is a legal technicality I don't have the answer to - do you?

Of course not. He's just here to bloviate on things he knows nothing about, just like every other thread he participates in.

#29 | Posted by JOE at 2020-10-08 01:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"This is a legal technicality I don't have the answer to - do you?"

Nope.

I'm not a lawyer. But the article I posted was from the BBC, and I tend to trust them more than most sources.

#30 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:24 PM | Reply

"Of course not. He's just here to bloviate on things he knows nothing about, just like every other thread he participates in."

That's not really fair...any bloviating comes not from me, but from the BBC.

Now, perhaps you're smarter than the team they've hired. I have zero doubts you think you are. But, you can only show that by addressing the points the BBC made in the article.

Is that something you feel you can do, champ?

#31 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:27 PM | Reply

The people were trespassing on private property.

Apparently the grand jury doesn't agree with you.

Neither do any other facts.

Like always. You're a troll with nothing to add.

#32 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-10-08 03:30 PM | Reply

"It's not normally locked. I had an office near there for a while. I have on occasion cut through Portland Place walking/biking to get over a taco place in the Central West End. I wave at their security guard when I see him."

It does not appear that being locked is part of the problem. Here is the sign posted next to the gate:

images.search.yahoo.com

It doesn't say "Access Limited to Everyone."

As I mentioned earlier in the conversation with the Idaho person...when you see a sign saying private property...you don't go there. Maybe Missouri is different, but in many states trespassing is going to result in you being met with a gun. Whether you intended to do it or not. Here the trespassers intended to do it.

What they should have done was contact the trustees and get their approval to protest in that neighborhood. Had they done that, then the McCloskey's would have had little choice but to deal with it or move to a different neighborhood.

#33 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:32 PM | Reply

"Apparently the grand jury doesn't agree with you."

Really? Show me.

#34 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:32 PM | Reply

Oh, and as to the gate. Open or closed, it was destroyed by the time this thing was over.

Regardless. It was open when people first started walking through it.

How funny. All you have are debunked talking points.

Maybe the news you're reading in Germany isn't up to date.

#35 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-10-08 03:32 PM | Reply

"Neither do any other facts."

"Most legal analysts agree that the protesters were trespassing when they entered Portland Place."

"Demonstrators shouted back at McCloskey that the street is "public property," which is not true of Portland Place - it is private property owned by a trust. Residents pay towards its management and the upkeep of the street, as well as private security."

"www.bbc.com"

You're welcome.

#36 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:34 PM | Reply

"Regardless. It was open when people first started walking through it."

Really,

Were you there?

#37 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:35 PM | Reply

"How funny. All you have are debunked talking points."

Then you should probably message the BBC and let them know that a correction is due.

#38 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 03:35 PM | Reply

Really? Show me.
#34 | POSTED BY MADTROLL

FTA: " A grand jury in St. Louis on Tuesday indicted Mark and Patricia McCloskey on counts of exhibiting a weapon and tampering with evidence."

If the people were actually trespassing, it would've been legal for this couple to point guns at the intruders. They would have been defending their property.

Any other questions, Troll?

#39 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-10-08 03:37 PM | Reply

"it is private property owned by a trust. Residents pay towards its management and the upkeep of the street, as well as private security."

Why didn't private security do their job?
Hmmm.

#40 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-08 03:37 PM | Reply

"What about the protesters who were on their property illegally?"

Didn't happen.
It's not their property. "it is private property owned by a trust"

#41 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-08 03:38 PM | Reply

Then you should probably message the BBC and let them know that a correction is due.
#38 | POSTED BY MADTROLL

Who cares about BBC. It's more enjoyable rubbing your dumb face in it.

Read it again:

" 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. ... St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner had issued felony charges against the couple in June for unlawful use of a weapon."

If they were just defending their property. There wouldn't have been an indictment.

It wouldn't have resurfaced at all.

#42 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-10-08 03:41 PM | Reply

"If the people were actually trespassing, it would've been legal for this couple to point guns at the intruders. They would have been defending their property."

Once more:

"Most legal analysts agree that the protesters were trespassing when they entered Portland Place."

I'm not legal analyst. Just repeating those the BBC are.

#43 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 05:08 PM | Reply

"Didn't happen. It's not their property. "it is private property owned by a trust"

Did they have permission of the trust to enter that property?

Here is what was posted at the gate:

images.search.yahoo.com

It says, "Access limited to residents."

Were the people who passed through that gate residents?

Yes or no?

#44 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 05:11 PM | Reply

"If they were just defending their property. There wouldn't have been an indictment. It wouldn't have resurfaced at all."

Know what? It doesn't matter. They will be pardoned regardless of who wins the election.

#45 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-08 05:14 PM | Reply

you can only show that by addressing the points the BBC made in the article.

The BBC article doesn't come close to offering a full-throated defense of the McCloskeys' actions. The analysis will likely turn on (1) whether Missouri's "castle doctrine" extends to a commonly-owned street, and (2) failing that, whether the McCloskeys were in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm. The closest your article comes to that is a claim that Portland Place is private property. But the analysis doesn't end there.

I equate this to ownership of a condominium unit, which comes with an undivided percentage ownership in the building's common elements. Does that mean I can point a gun at someone in the lobby? The bike room? The front lawn of the building? It's a very complex issue that I don't think the case law in Missouri has a good answer to. And anyone claiming they know the answer one way or another, unless they are a criminal lawyer in Missouri, is a fool.

#46 | Posted by JOE at 2020-10-08 06:43 PM | Reply

To wrap up my position on this, i think it is beyond dispute that the McCloskeys violated the criminal statute relating to unlawful use of a weapon in Missouri. The only question now is whether they can establish a valid defense for that infraction. But to criticize a prosecutor or grand jury for charging such a straightforward case is moronic. You charge when the statute is violated; you don't do a defense analysis in your head on behalf of the defendants unless it's open and shut like defending a grandma from a rapist.

#47 | Posted by JOE at 2020-10-08 06:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It does not appear that being locked is part of the problem. Here is the sign posted next to the gate:
images.search.yahoo.com
It doesn't say "Access Limited to Everyone."
As I mentioned earlier in the conversation with the Idaho person...when you see a sign saying private property...you don't go there. Maybe Missouri is different,
#33 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

And I as I mentioned earlier, that's not how it works in St. Louis. Anyone can put up a sign. It doesn't mean it has legal bearing. I can put up a sign on the easement on my property that says the same but it doesn't give me the authority to actually prevent anyone from using it. If I went outside armed and started yelling at people that they can't be there then I would expect to be arrested and charged.

#48 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-10-08 07:06 PM | Reply

As someone who had to defend their home with a gun (many years ago), I find these two in the short bus for gun owners. You never point a gun at someone unless you are going to shoot, and you better have a good reason too.

Guns escalate situations, especially when tempers are flying.

I think they really need to see a trial. They really over reacted.

#49 | Posted by DMTDust at 2020-10-08 09:39 PM | Reply

"The closest your article comes to that is a claim that Portland Place is private property. But the analysis doesn't end there."

That's fine. I'm just repeating what the article is saying. If you have other information suggesting that Portland Place is public or city property, or that the alleged trespassers had then right to be there, then feel free to present it.

#50 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-09 03:46 AM | Reply

"And I as I mentioned earlier, that's not how it works in St. Louis. Anyone can put up a sign. It doesn't mean it has legal bearing."

Sure.

But the BBC article I posted stated that it is private property and the protesters were trespassing. In fact some of the trespassers were issued summonses, but the trust that manages the neighborhood elected not to press charges.

If you're asserting that Portland Place is not private property and the trespassers were legally entitled to be there, you'd be the first. Do you have anything to support your claim?

#51 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-09 03:49 AM | Reply

"I can put up a sign on the easement on my property that says the same but it doesn't give me the authority to actually prevent anyone from using it."

Uh, you have no obligation to allow the public access to your private property.

Whether or not protesters should be allowed in the neighborhood would almost certainly be a decision by the trustees...but I don't think there is any doubt that the protesters moving through that neighborhood were there illegally.

#52 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-09 03:53 AM | Reply

"As someone who had to defend their home with a gun (many years ago), I find these two in the short bus for gun owners. You never point a gun at someone unless you are going to shoot, and you better have a good reason too."

Have you seen the videos?

The man is holding the rifle like someone out of a 1980s action movie. Not sure how he could have even aimed the weapon. Zero firearms discipline.

#53 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-10-09 03:54 AM | Reply


I hope it costs them a fortune in legal fees.
Karma is a bitty.

#25 | Posted by donnerboy

"Karma" also doesn't like to be used as a consequence just because you disagree with someone.

#54 | Posted by boaz at 2020-10-09 08:55 AM | Reply

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