ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nine people charged with misdemeanor trespassing after a racial injustice protest in a private St. Louis neighborhood in June will not be prosecuted, city officials said Tuesday.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who live in the neighborhood, confronted the demonstrators with guns and have been charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony.
The protesters were issued citations earlier this month.
Deputy City Counselor Michael Garvin said in a statement Tuesday prosecution of the trespassing charges “is not warranted” and charges would be refused, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Municipal court prosecutors reviewed video, conducted interviews and examined property records of the incident. Gardner said residents who are trustees of the neighborhood, Portland Place, did not want to pursue trespassing charges.
Marchers were using the street to get to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson. The McCloskeys, who were armed with an AR-15 rifle and semiautomatic handgun, have become national figures for conservative Republicans and gun rights advocates since the confrontation and gave an opening night speech during last month’s Republican National Convention.
Their lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said Tuesday that the demonstrators were clearly trespassing and the McCloskeys “were clearly within their rights to do what they did.”
President Donald Trump and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson criticized the charges against the McCloskeys. Parson has said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted.