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Multiple videos recorded after a Saturday prayer vigil in St. Louis appear to show Black Lives Matter agitators assaulting Catholics who participated in the event.

“Yesterday, while praying for peace and unity in our city and the protection of the St. Louis statue, Black Lives Matter protesters started to harass, berate, and assault the Catholics that were peacefully praying.

We did nothing in retaliation,” Conor Martin, a candidate for Bedford Township Republican committeeman, claimed on Twitter.

Martin posted various videos of the incident that show agitators assaulting two individuals and beating them with sticks.

We allowed them to spit on us, call us names, put their fingers in our faces, push us, and antagonize, but we did not retaliate. We continued to peacefully pray.


— Conor Martin (@CMartinForMO) June 28, 2020

Bill Hennessy, a Catholic, conservative blogger based in St. Louis, said a group called St. Louis Forever visits the statue of St. Louis most evenings to pray the rosary and clean up the area. The group was formed in response to a petition to remove the statue and rename the city.

A local Black Lives Matter activist named Umar Lee decided to organize a counter-protest after learning that Catholics would be gathering at the statue at noon on Saturday.

“It was more than a protest. It was actually an attempt at intimidation,” said Hennessy, who noted that the assaults occurred after the prayer event had concluded.

“I don’t know exactly what precipitated this, or whether nothing did,” he said of the assaults. Hennessy participated in the Saturday event, but said he was not familiar with the individuals in the video.

Based on the video, it seems like a situation “where they got a couple people to stick around,” said Hennessy.

“I’d rather emphasize that when you do an event, leave as a group all at once at the same time. Don’t announce the time you’re going to leave in advance so that they can’t plan around that and just go, and go in groups so that no one’s alone,” he added. “At the time these incidents occurred, clearly there’s no police officers visible. So if you’re looking for someone to beat on, you’re going to wait for the police to leave.”

Kimberly Gardner, circuit attorney for St. Louis, said her office is investigating the Saturday assaults as well as Sunday night’s viral incident involving two homeowners who pulled firearms on a group of protesters who were trespassing on private property.

“It’s interesting that you have kind of two stories, the one with the couple and the one with the beating at the end of this prayer ceremony, and the only one that gets any attention is people defending their private property, even though no one was hurt. The media has completely ignored the fact that, at a minimum, somebody got beat up. What led to that beating, we don’t know,” said Hennessy.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis released a statement Sunday in defense of the St. Louis statue, calling King Louis IX “an imperfect man who strived to live a life modeled after the life of Jesus Christ.”

“King Louis IX’s renowned work in charity helped elevate him to Sainthood. His daily suppers were shared with numerous beggars, whom he invited to the royal table. On many evenings, he would not let them leave before he washed their feet. He personally paid to feed more than 100 poor Parisians every day,” said the statement. “His care for the sick was equally moving; St. Louis frequently ministered to lepers. He also created a number of hospitals, including one for the blind and another for ex-prostitutes.”

Lee has now organized a protest for Wednesday outside the residence of Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, who was appointed earlier this month to lead the archdiocese.

“If I’m CNN 15 years ago – maybe even five years ago – I probably would’ve been investigating this to find out more and would’ve at least mentioned it,” Hennessy added. “It’s really sad that we’ve reached the point in big league journalism that a story that does not conform to their preferred narrative simply didn’t happen in their minds.”

– – –

Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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Tags: archdiocese of st louis black lives matter catholic king louis ix missouri st louis

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Missouri governor says St. Louis couple had every right to wave guns at protesters

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) defended the St. Louis couple who was seen in viral footage last month pointing guns at protesters outside their home and said they “had every right to protect their property.”

Parson made the remarks in defense of the married couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, at a news briefing on Tuesday, the St. Louis Dispatch reported. His comments reportedly came shortly after he drew criticism from his predecessor, former Gov. Eric Greitens (R), over the treatment the couple has received in recent weeks. 

During an appearance on Fox News earlier this week, anchor Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonStone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Johns Hopkins doctor: Issuing 'ultimatum' for schools to reopen is 'wrong approach' Chris Wallace presses DeVos on threats to withhold funding from schools that don't reopen MORE pressed Greitens for his thoughts on Parson’s response to the McCloskey case, which has garnered national attention in recent weeks, asking him, “Why isn't he doing something?” 

“Why didn't he send State Troopers to defend the McCloskeys or anybody else who was being threatened -- whose lives are being threatened?” he asked the former governor.

Greitens, who stepped down as governor in 2018 amid multiple allegations of criminal wrongdoing, responded by saying there was a “cowardice problem” going on and touted his office’s past use of police force.

While discussing the McCloskey case at his press briefing on Tuesday, Parsons stressed his strong support for the Second Amendment as well as his support for the Castle Doctrine, which, according to a Thomson Reuters legal database, “allows residents to use force against intruders, without the duty to retreat, based on the notion that your home is your ‘castle.’”

Parsons also discussed a recent conversation he had with President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE, who had also defended the couple in an interview on Tuesday and called the way they’ve been treated a “disgrace.”

“He understands the situation in Missouri,” Parsons said at the briefing. “He understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens.”

Parsons went on to say that the president also vowed to “do everything he could within his powers to help with this situation, and that he would be taking action to do that” and said he thinks the “president doesn’t like what he’s seeing and the way these people are being treated.”

Parsons also criticized the St. Louis city prosecutor, Kim Gardner, accusing her of trying to take away the couple’s “constitutional rights” after she launched an investigation into the June incident involving the couple.

His comments come several days after local authorities executed a search warrant at the couple’s home. During the search, the husband’s rifle had also reportedly been seized.

The couple first drew national attention in late June after they were recorded pointing guns at protesters who had been marching past their residence on the way to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) as part of a demonstration. The protesters had been calling for the mayor’s resignation after she read aloud activists' personal information on a livestream.

However, as they were passing the McCloskeys’ house, the couple could be seen yelling at the protesters and pointing guns at them.

The couple has claimed that they pulled out their guns in defense, saying last month that they were “in fear for [their] lives.”  However, one the leaders of the protest, Rasheen Aldridge, disputed the couple’s claim at the time and said the demonstrators remained peaceful despite the McCloskeys drawing guns on them.

The incident last month came amid a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans.

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