Patterico's Pontifications


St. Louis Couple Points Guns At Protesters

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:35 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Here’s video of the run-in between St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s neighbors and protesters, who were on their way to protest at the first-term Democratic mayor’s home:

(Well, they’re scared of hundreds of people marching past their home…)

President Trump retweeted ABC’s clip this morning, which shows the confrontation from a little bit different angle:

ABC News reports:

St. Louis police confirmed on Monday that they are investigating a confrontation caught on cellphone video of some white neighbors of Mayor Lyda Krewson pointing guns at protesters marching by their mansion on the way to the mayor’s home.

The episode occurred Sunday afternoon, when hundreds of demonstrators entered the gated Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, banging drums and chanting for Krewson to resign and “take your cops with you.”

Cellphone video that went viral on social media showed a white couple—a man armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle and a woman wielding a silver-plated pistol with her finger on the trigger—emerging from their five-story limestone home. They were pointing the weapons at the protesters and yelling at them that they were on a private street. Demonstrators are heard in the videos telling other protesters to keep moving toward Krewson’s home and to ignore the couple.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department [SLMPD] told ABC News on Monday that the couple, who police described as the victims, placed a “call for help” at 7:23 p.m. and that they are investigating the confrontation as a “trespassing/assault 4th intimidation” case.

From the police summary of the incident:

“The victims stated they were on their property when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street,” according to an incident summary of the ongoing investigation provided to ABC News by the SLMPD. “When the victims went to investigate the commotion, they observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs.

“Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave,” according to the couple’s statement to the police included in the summary. “The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police.”

The couple released a statement through their attorney today. In part:

“The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys,” the statement reads. “To the contrary, they were expecting [sic] and supportive of the message of the protesters. The actions of violence, destruction of property and acts of threatening aggression by a few individuals commingling with the peaceful protesters, gave rise to trepidation and fear of imminent and grave harm.

“Both Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey acted lawfully on their property which sits on a private gated lane in the City of St. Louis,” the statement reads. “Their actions were borne solely of fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race related. In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white.”

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced that her office is investigating the matter:

I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.

Protesters had been marching toward Mayor Krewson’s after she doxed constituents on Friday who had written letters supporting the move to defund the police:

During her Facebook Live on Friday, Krewson was asked about a meeting she had with protesters outside City Hall. Krewson grabbed submitted letters and read them, including the names and both partial and full addresses of those calling to defund the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

As a result of Krewson’s actions, an online petition calling for her resignation has garnered more than 40,000 signatures.

After the incident with the gun-toting couple, protesters eventually wound up at the mayor’s residence, and painted a large RESIGN sign on the street in front of her home.

Just a couple of things. This story is exhausting because it represents yet another effort for one group to portray the other group as the absolute worst of. To claim that the homeowners were scared of their own community is to intentionally ignore the fact that most of us would be unnerved, at the very least, to see hundreds of protesters marching past their home, especially if their home was located on a private road in a gated enclave. And because their neighbor happens to be the mayor of their city. I don’t find their concern unreasonable. But. The couple could have just as easily left the patio where they were dining, gone inside their home, called 911, and waited for the police to arrive. Given their exclusive location, they would have undoubtedly seen a quick response time by the police. The couple also could have gone outside and tried to engage with the crowd, and assure them of their support for the protesters (as they claimed they did in their statement) to help defuse the situation. [Ed. This was said sarcastically because I don’t believe that the couple really supported the protesters, in spite of their statement that they did.] And most definitely, the couple could have left their guns inside the residence, because brandishing firearms was surely seen as a provocation, especially when the woman was waving her gun around and pointing it directly at the crowd. If they wanted to send a message to the protesters that they were protecting their home, why not remain on the front porch with weapons in hand? Weapons, that I am convinced neither one knows how to properly use, given their carelessness with them. Look, I understand being concerned – and even fearful – when hundreds of people are in front of one’s home, yelling and chanting. And the couple did claim that some protesters were armed. I understand how that could feel threatening. I guess the question is, was this that? Were the homeowners exercising their legal rights? And what about the protesters?

ADDED: In spite of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner assessment of the incident, here is Anders Walker, a constitutional law professor at St. Louis University, discussing Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, and whether the protesters were trespassing:

…Walker said that although it’s “very dangerous” to engage protesters with guns, the homeowners broke no laws by brandishing or pointing weapons at them because Portland Place is a private street. He said the McCloskeys are protected by Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force to defend private property.

“At any point that you enter the property, they can then, in Missouri, use deadly force to get you off the lawn,” Walker said, calling the state’s Castle Doctrine a “force field” that “indemnifies you, and you can even pull the trigger in Missouri.”

Luckily, Walker said, no one got shot.

“There’s no right to protest on those streets,” Walker said. “The protesters thought they had a right to protest, but as a technical matter, they were not allowed to be there. … It’s essentially a private estate. If anyone was violating the law, it was the protesters. In fact, if (the McCloskeys) have photos of the protesters, they could go after them for trespassing.”


Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisiana Abortion Clinic Law

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:30 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The law would have provided protection to women having surgical abortions at a clinic by ensuring that the abortion doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics:

A divided Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era.

Chief Justice John Roberts and his four more liberal colleagues ruled that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals violates abortion rights the court first announced in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

In a detailed analysis, Yuval Levin takes on Justice Roberts and his reference to Edmund Burke:

“The question today,” Roberts wrote, “is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.” The answer should be ‘yes,’ he insisted, on the basis of the principle of Stare Decisis, by which prior decisions of the Court are adhered to by default absent strong reasons to regard the underlying matters differently. To defend this particular application of Stare Decisis, Roberts pointed to several venerated voices, including Alexander Hamilton (in Federalist 78) and a number of prior decisions of the Court. But he began these references to sources with Edmund Burke…

It was Justice Thomas who correctly said:

Despite the fact that we granted Louisiana’s petition specifically to address whether “abortion providers [can] be presumed to have third-party standing to challenge health and safety regulations on behalf of their patients,” Conditional Cross-Pet. in No. 18–1460, p. i, a majority of the Court all but ignores the question. The plurality and THE CHIEF JUSTICE ultimately cast aside this jurisdictional barrier to conclude that Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional under our precedents. But those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text. Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled. Because we have neither jurisdiction nor constitutional authority to declare Louisiana’s duly enacted law unconstitutional, I respectfully dissent.

(emphasis added)



AP Reports That Trump Had Been Briefed About Russian Bounties

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

Intelligence officials are contradicting the president’s claim that neither he nor the vice-president had been informed about Russia’s bounty plan:

The intelligence officials told the AP that Trump was briefed on the bounty matter earlier this year; Trump denied that, tweeting Sunday neither he nor Vice President Mike Pence had been briefed. Trump tweeted Sunday night he was just told intelligence officials didn’t report the information to him because they didn’t find it credible.

The intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the matter insisted on anonymity to discuss the highly sensitive matter.

Here was Trump’s denial, posted yesterday:

From the AP report:

The intelligence assessments came amid Trump’s push to withdraw the U.S. from Afghanistan and suggested Russia was making overtures to militants as the U.S. and the Taliban held talks to end the long-running war. The assessment was first reported by The New York Times, then confirmed to The Associated Press by American intelligence officials and two others with knowledge of the matter.

In early 2020, members of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known to the public as SEAL Team Six, raided a Taliban outpost and recovered roughly $500,000. The recovered funds further solidified the suspicions of the American intelligence community that the Russians had offered money to Taliban militants and linked associations.

One official said the administration discussed several potential responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step.

The intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the matter insisted on anonymity to discuss the highly sensitive matter.

The White House National Security Council wouldn’t confirm the assessments but said the U.S. receives thousands of intelligence reports daily that are subject to strict scrutiny.

Both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have directed Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and CIA Director Gina Haspel to provide a briefing to Congress. Pelosi claims that not even the “Gang of Eight” had been informed of the bounties, and said about Trump, “With him, all roads lead to Putin”:

“Congress and the country need answers now,” wrote Pelosi, a Democrat from California. “Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable. The Administration’s disturbing silence and inaction endanger the lives of our troops and our coalition partners.”

Along with Lindsey Graham, Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted that the White House needs to inform Congress who in administration knew about Russian bounties on U.S. troops, and when they knew:

Senate Republicans are pushing for more information from the Trump administration, including Jim Inhofe, Senate Armed Services chairman:

“We’ve known for a long time that Putin is a thug and a murderer, and if the allegations reported in the New York Times are true, I will work with President Trump on a strong response. My number-one priority is the safety of our troops,” Inhofe tweeted Monday. “Right now, though, we need answers. I have asked the administration to share what it knows, and I expect to know more in the coming days.”

[Ed. While the vast majority of Americans recognize that Putin is indeed, both a thug and a murderer, it’s questionable if Trump sees Putin with any clarity, given his bromance with him.]

UPDATE: According to reports, there will be an Afghanistan briefing at the White House today – but only for House Republicans.


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