A U.S. white couple from St. Louis pulled weapons, including what appeared to be an assault rifle, on Black Lives Matter protesters who marched through their upscale neighbourhood Sunday on their way to the mayor’s house.
A 31-second video posted on Twitter shows the couple outside their home, the man shouting at the protesters as the couple points their weapons at the crowd. It is unclear in the video what the man is shouting. Several demonstrators are heard urging fellow marchers to move on and ignore the couple.
The Riverfront Times in St. Louis, which had a reporter and photographer at the scene, identified the couple as personal injury lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey.
According to Dictionary.com, “Karen” is “a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors.” Typically white male names like Chad have been used to describe similar men.
Several people on social media also pointed out that the McCloskeys appear to be brandishing the weapons at people, which could potentially result in criminal charges. In Missouri, the crime of unlawful use of a weapon includes when a person “exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.”
According to Missouri law, the crime is a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
Protesters have gathered across the U.S. on a daily basis following the May 25th police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. One of the demands of demonstrators has been that cities “defund” their police forces, or divert funding from the police to social services in the communities.
The call for increased social services and decreased policing is designed to curb police killings, particularly those of men and women of colour.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020