State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge

State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge led an Expect Us action at St. Louis City Hall on June 19. He was among the protestors threatened with weapons by Mark and Patricia McCloskey on June 28.

Photo by Bill Greenblatt / UPI

I personally attended the protests in the Central West End on June 28 when Mark and Patricia McCloskey left their residence and used loaded guns to threaten those seeking justice. Not one protestor set foot on their property or said or did anything that would have given them the impression that we wanted to harm them.

Contrary to what Gov. Mike Parson said Monday, July 20 on The Hannity Show, we were not some bloodthirsty, rampaging mob. We practiced peaceful civil disobedience and had the threat of violence imposed upon us. Parson’s dishonest hypocrisy about the events of that night shows he has no interest actual justice, only in exploiting this situation to mobilize his base.

Furthermore, the eagerness with which the governor and Attorney General Eric Schmitt attacked Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner for standing up for her constituents' First Amendment rights is alarming. Her decision to charge the McCloskeys with the unlawful use of a weapon is warranted given what I saw that evening, and a jury should determine whether or not they're guilty of that crime.

The governor and attorney general's decision to get involved does nothing more than transform our state's legal process into political sideshow.

Rasheen Aldridge (D-St. Louis) represents Missouri’s 78th District in the state House of Representatives and serves as 5th Ward Democratic committeeman in the City of St. Louis.

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