A husband and wife in the United States have been charged for brandishing guns at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters as they marched past their St. Louis home last month.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey are accused of unlawful use of weapons after they drew guns at unarmed activists outside their million-dollar Missouri mansion on June 28.
The city’s Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardener said the decision to issue charges was made following a “thorough investigation” by the police department.
She said in a statement: “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.
“We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated.”
But supporters of the couple, including President Donald Trump, say they were legally defending their property under the United States’ Second Amendment.
The McCloskey’s lawyer Joel Schwartz described the decision to charge them as “disheartening,” adding: “I unequivocally believe no crime was committed.”
And Republican State Governor Mark Parsons has also criticised the indictment as “outrageous”.
The incident happened during the widespread anti-racism protests across America and the rest of the world in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man died after a white policeman knelt on his neck.
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