Last month, video and images of a middle-aged white couple in St. Louis went viral. The couple, later identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, could be seen pointing guns as peaceful protesters made their way to protest outside of Mayor Lyda Krewson's home.
Now the couple is facing a felony charge for unlawful use of a weapon and a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault, according to the Associated Press. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner released a statement regarding the charges on Tuesday.
"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," the statement reads. "We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerating."
The incident took place on June 28. In footage of the couple standing outside their mansion, Mark McCloskey can be seen holding an assault rifle at protesters while his wife Patricia holds a handgun with her finger on the trigger.
The couple later defended their actions, seen by many as an overly violent and racist reaction to peaceful protestors. “We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog's life being threatened," Mark told KSDK. "I really thought it was storming the Bastille, that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it."
It’s unclear if the charges will result in any punishment, as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson recently told local reporters that he would pardon the couple if they were convicted.
The McCloskeys are expected to be served a summons to appear in court at a later date.