Who is Kimberly Gardner, St. Louis prosecutor investigating gun-toting couple?
The standoff between a gun-toting couple who stood in their front yard and peaceful protesters who marched through the private neighborhood is under investigation, according to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner’s office.
Gardner, who was elected in 2016 on a platform of reforming the criminal justice system, was reportedly backed by liberal billionaire George Soros.
Since being elected, Gardner has butted heads publicly with Missouri’s Republican attorney general and faced lawsuits for allegedly ignoring public records requests.
In a statement Monday, Gardner described the encounter between married lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey and the protesters as “a violent assault” against those exercising their First Amendment rights.
Albert Watkins, the McCloskeys’ attorney, told Fox News that under Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, a person has “the absolute unmitigated right to protect his or her castle or family while on their property.” He said the protesters were trespassing, “damaging and destroying private property and acting in a threatening and hostile fashion.”
Gardner, a Democrat, was elected circuit attorney of St. Louis in 2016, running on a campaign that promised to reform and rebuild trust in the criminal justice system and reduce violent crime.
She was criticized ahead of the election for releasing a political ad paid for by the Safety and Justice Super PAC that was at least partially funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The total funds donated by the super PAC were at least $190,750, according to the report, with Soros giving at least $30,000. It was not immediately clear what her campaign budget was or who else contributed.
Gardner at the time told the paper that she had no regrets about accepting help from the super PAC.
Soros is known for backing left-wing causes across the globe, having last year used his super PAC to successfully boost two liberal prosecutor candidates in Virginia over incumbent Democrats.