Viral Gun-Waving St. Louis Couple Sues Photographer Who Took Picture of Incident

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple that went viral in late June after waving guns at protestors, have filed a lawsuit against a photographer.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey

Image via Getty/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mark and Patricia McCloskey

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who went viral in late June after waving guns at protestors marching near their home, have filed a lawsuit against a news photographer they claim trespassed on their property in order to capture a picture of that tense confrontation

The McCloskeys, both of whom are lawyers, filed the suit against United Press International (UPI) photographer Bill Greenblatt, in addition to also naming that wire service, on Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court. 

Newspaper photographers are allowed to snap pictures from public rights of way, but the McCloskeys contend that Greenblatt entered a private street in their posh neighborhood to capture the image.

They say that Greenblatt's photo played a part in their "significant national recognition and infamy."

Law and Crime reports that the couple is also going after the online marketplace Redbubble Inc. (which sells print on-demand products) because it featured merchandise with their likenesses. 

In the suit the couple writes that Redbubble, Greenblatt, and UPI are making money off of “t-shirts, masks, and other items, and licensing use of photographs bearing Plaintiffs’ likenesses, without obtaining Plaintiffs’ consent.”

They say that their picture on Redbubble merchandise is often paired with "mocking and pejorative taglines or captions," which they say has led to “humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress."

On Sunday, Mark tweeted out the development in tandem with an unsubstantiated claim about "attempted election theft": 

Interestingly enough, UPI claims that they had been weighing whether or not to send the McCloskeys a "cease and desist" order because the couple had been using the same photo for an alleged personal greeting card.

In previous developments stemming from this incident, the McCloskeys pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. They maintain that they were acting in self-defense on the day in question. That criminal case is ongoing. 

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