The St. Louis, Missouri, couple, who held guns to ward off protesters, has released a statement about their actions where they also expressed support for Black Lives Matter.
On Tuesday, Albert S. Watkin — the legal counsel for the couple — released a statement to address the series of events that led up to the viral video.
The husband and wife — now identified as lawyers Mark and Patty McCloskeys — insist no laws were broken and their actions were not racially motivated.
“The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys,” the statement read. “To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters. The actions of violence, destruction of property, and acts of threatening aggression by a few individuals commingling with the peaceful protesters gave rise to trepidation and fear of imminent and grave.”
Describing a few of the protesters as “agitators,” the couple also emphasized that those “responsible for the trepidation were white.” The couple also expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The Black Lives Matter movement is here to stay, it is the right message, and it is about time,” Watkins said in the statement.
He continued. “The McCloskeys want to make sure no one thinks less of BLM, its message and the means it is employing to get its message out because of the actions of a few white individuals who tarnished a peaceful protest.”
Their statement comes after the video went viral. The footage, filmed on Sunday evening, shows the couple clashing with protesters as Mark McCloskey and his wife held guns in front of their home.
At the time, Mark McCloskey insisted he and his wife had been verbally threatened.
“This is all private property,” Mark McCloskey said. “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.”
As the footage began circulating on social media, local officials shared their reactions to the video. Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner expressed outrage over the video.
1/ I am alarmed at the events that occurred 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.— Kimberly Gardner (@StLouisCityCA) June 29, 2020
As of Tuesday morning, no charges have been brought against the couple.