A St. Louis lawyer has been declared an American hero by online conservatives after on Sunday facing down a crowd of protesters outside his house with an AR-style rifle.
In a video that has gone viral, Mark McCloskey, 63, is seen brandishing the weapon against a crowd of several hundred Black Lives Matter activists that had stormed his gated community to protest the mayor.
- His wife and fellow trial lawyer, Patricia McCloskey, 61, took up a semiautomatic handgun to join him in defending their palatial property.
- “The only thing that stopped the crowd from approaching the house was when I had that rifle,” he said. “[It was] the only thing that stemmed the tide.”
On social media, some liberals condemned the McCloskeys, who have an adult daughter, as racists and called for them to be arrested.
But the reaction was very different on the right, where patience with weeks of sometimes-lawless and violent anti-racism protests across the country protests has worn thin.
President Donald Trump retweeted a video of the McCloskeys’ stand, versions of which have been viewed more than 25 million times, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, commented on a photo of the couple, “This is all of us.”
Conservative commentators celebrated the McCloskeys as icons of various aspects of American greatness:
Relationship role models.
“MTV Cribs”-level homemakers.
A statement released by the McCloskey’s lawyer on Sunday evening said they support the Black Lives Matter movement and their personal injury law practice represented a black man in a high-profile police brutality lawsuit.
Rumors spread online that Mark McCloksey was a major Democratic donor, but fact-checkers quickly determined it was a case of mistaken identity.
- According to FEC records, McCloskey actually made several donations in support of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.