The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 1:00 am

Protests roundup

St. Louis couple defend pulling guns on protesters

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS – A white couple who stood outside their St. Louis mansion and pointed guns at protesters who were marching toward the mayor's home to demand her resignation support the Black Lives Matter movement and don't want to become heroes to those who oppose the cause, their attorney said Monday.

Video posted online showed Mark McCloskey, 63, and his 61-year-old wife, Patricia, standing outside their Renaissance palazzo-style home Sunday night in the city's well-to-do Central West End neighborhood. He could be heard yelling while holding a long-barreled gun. His wife stood next to him with a handgun.

Their attorney, Albert Watkins, told The Associated Press on Monday that the couple are long-time civil rights advocates and support the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. He said they grabbed their guns when two or three protesters – who were white – violently threatened the couple and their property and that of their neighbors.

Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said Monday her office was working with police to investigate the confrontation.

Detroit chief shows footage of protesters damaging cars

A demonstration in Detroit against police brutality and racial injustice became violent as two police vehicles were damaged amid demands by one group that authorities investigate the actions of the officers.

No injuries were reported from the protest Sunday night on the southwest side, police Chief James Craig said Monday.

Craig showed dashcam footage from the two vehicles Sunday. Footage from one showed a group of protesters converging in front of one police vehicle and at least two protesters jumping on its hood. The vehicle's rear window was smashed and the officer driving began to accelerate because it wasn't clear whether “they were being fired upon,” Craig said. He blamed the Sunday night unrest on “agitators” in the crowd.

Pittsburgh sued over tactics of police during protest

A group of protesters is suing Pittsburgh city and police officials, saying officers used unnecessary, excessive force to disperse a crowd protesting against police brutality and officials lied about the protesters' behavior to justify that response.

The lawsuit filed Monday alleges protesters' constitutional rights were violated when police dispersed a crowd of about 150 people protesting after the Minneapolis death of George Floyd, at one point allegedly firing blindly into a cloud of smoke and tear gas with beanbags and other projectiles.

Some of the protesters say officers boxed them in and prevented many from being able to follow an order to disperse, arresting people who were trying to leave and even lobbing tear gas canisters and smoke at people nearly a half-mile away from the protest trying to get to their cars.

Police have said an officer was threatened and that bricks, water bottles and other projectiles were thrown at officers before they used force to disperse the splintered crowd.

Kansas City mayor received racist text after mask order

Kansas City's Black mayor said Monday that he was called a racist slur and told he should “swing from a tree” after he announced mandatory face masks in the Missouri city.

Mayor Quinton Lucas on Twitter shared a screenshot of the texts, which came after he announced Friday that masks will be required in Kansas City when 6 feet of separation isn't feasible. “You walked with RIOTERS not wearing a mask idiot,” a text read, according to a screenshot Lucas shared. “You should swing from a tree, I'm not threatening it, but would love to see it.”

Lucas did not share the name or number of the person who allegedly sent the texts, which included a racist slur and obscene language describing the mayor. In a tweet about the texts, Lucas wrote, “let's do better.”

County asked to drop name of John Wayne from airport

In the latest move to change U.S. place names tied to racist groups and ideas, Democratic Party leaders in Orange County, California, are pushing to drop film legend John Wayne's name from the county's airport because of his racist and bigoted comments.

The request was contested by the head of the county's Republican Party, who condemned the comments but touted Wayne's contributions as an actor and philanthropist.

The Democratic Party of Orange County adopted a resolution last week condemning Wayne's “racist and bigoted statements” in a 1971 interview and called on the county's board of supervisors to drop his “name and likeness” from the airport. The resolution asked the board to restore the name to Orange County Airport.

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