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St. Louis police cite 9 for trespassing in June protest outside Portland Place mansion

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ST. LOUIS — City police have issued trespassing summonses to nine protesters who on June 28 marched onto Portland Place, a private and gated street where a St. Louis couple brandished guns as demonstrators walked past their mansion.

The police department confirmed it issued citations to nine people but declined to identify them, citing provisions of the state Sunshine Law that seals arrest reports and other records during an active investigation.

“The police department investigated nine instances of trespassing related to this incident,” St. Louis police spokeswoman Evita Caldwell said in an email Thursday. “Charges are being reviewed by the City Counselor’s Office.”

Deputy City Counselor Mike Garvin said Friday that “police have presented materials to us and we are considering whether to issue charges on the citations.” Garvin said the office wants to examine video from the protest “to see where the accused trespassers were at the time.”

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are each charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon, made their first court appearance Aug. 31 and have another hearing set for Oct. 6 unless a grand jury issues an indictment before then. Charges said Mark McCloskey, 63, pointed an AR-15 rifle at protesters and Patricia McCloskey, 61, wielded a semiautomatic handgun, placing protesters in fear of injury.

Dozens had marched past the McCloskey home that evening and it wasn’t clear what determinations police used to cite just the nine demonstrators.

Activist Ohun Ashe tweeted last week that she received a trespassing summons, saying, “I had a gun waved in my face by them but trespassing is what matters?”

This week, the Circuit Attorney’s Office filed a brief in the case arguing the Missouri Attorney General’s Office should be removed as a party in the case. A lawyer for that state office responded in opposition, saying its move to dismiss the charges against the McCloskeys was proper.

The McCloskeys’ lawyer filed another motion Thursday seeking to disqualify St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner and the rest of the Circuit Attorney’s Office, alleging her reelection campaign exploited the case in political fundraising emails. The filing claims Chief Warrant Officer Chris Hinckley improperly instructed the police crime lab “to disassemble, modify and reassemble” one of the guns seized from the McCloskeys “to render it operational.”

Gardner opposes the McCloskeys’ and the Missouri attorney general’s motions, saying in a court pleading that the McCloskeys should quit turning their gun case into “political theater.”

Gov. Mike Parson has said he would pardon the couple if they were convicted.

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