St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner needs to read Missouri’s castle doctrine.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner announced her “office is currently working with the public and police to investigate” the couple who drew their weapons to defend their property from protesters.
Yes, Gardner is investigating the couple. Not the people who broke through the iron gate. The couple.
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in regards to events over weekend: pic.twitter.com/KqqFHIvL9Q
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) June 29, 2020
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, personal injury lawyers, have a different story (emphasis mine):
St. Louis police said the couple had called police for help once they saw the large crowd enter Portland Place. The McCloskeys had been at home and heard a loud commotion coming from the street; they went to investigate and saw “a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs,” police said.
“The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims,” police said. “When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police.”
The police labeled “it as a case of trespassing and fourth-degree assault by intimidation.”
I think Gardner needs an education on Missouri’s castle doctrine (emphasis mine):
Anders Walker, a constitutional law professor at St. Louis University, said that although it’s “very dangerous” to engage protesters with guns, the homeowners broke no laws by brandishing or pointing weapons at them because Portland Place is a private street. He said the McCloskeys are protected by Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force to defend private property.
“At any point that you enter the property, they can then, in Missouri, use deadly force to get you off the lawn,” Walker said, calling the state’s Castle Doctrine a “force field” that “indemnifies you, and you can even pull the trigger in Missouri.”
Luckily, Walker said, no one got shot.
“There’s no right to protest on those streets,” Walker said. “The protesters thought they had a right to protest, but as a technical matter, they were not allowed to be there. … It’s essentially a private estate. If anyone was violating the law, it was the protesters. In fact, if (the McCloskeys) have photos of the protesters, they could go after them for trespassing.”
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