ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis couple facing felony charges for waving guns at racial injustice protesters who marched near their home allege in a lawsuit that a news photographer trespassed to capture an image of the confrontation.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mark and Patricia McCloskey, lawyers in their 60s, filed the lawsuit Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court against United Press International photographer Bill Greenblatt and the wire service.
At issue was a protest on June 28, when a few hundred marchers veered onto the private street near the McCloskeys’ $1.15 million home in St. Louis’ posh Central West End area.
Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15 rifle and his wife displayed a semiautomatic handgun. The incident sparked international intention and was shared widely online.
Newspaper photographers are allowed to take images from public streets, sidewalks or alleys. The McCloskeys have argued that protesters were trespassing because they live on a private street.
The McCloskeys are also suing Redbubble, an online custom retail website. The couple says Redbubble users have been selling merchandise that includes the UPI photo without their consent.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last month that the UPI was considering sending a cease-and-desist to the McCloskeys after they used the image on a set of greeting cards.
The McCloskeys, known for being litigious, delivered a virtual address at the 2020 Republican National Convention.