The McCloskeys, who made headlines last year when they aimed guns at BLM protesters on their lawn, posed for photos on Tuesday outside the Wisconsin courthouse where Kyle Rittenhouse stands trial, with two people flashing the ‘OK’ sign – which has been associated with white supremacists.
Mark McCloskey, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, and his wife, Patricia, were at the Kenosha courthouse for a second straight day to show support for Rittenhouse.
They were among a group of people outside the courthouse, some in support of Rittenhouse and others opposed, who began to gather Monday during closing arguments.
The couple gained national attention after they waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who were marching in their gated St. Louis neighborhood last summer.
There were dozens of people outside the courthouse by Tuesday as the jury spent all day deliberating the case before ending the day around 6pm without reaching a verdict.
While there, McCloskey was photographed standing next to two men with their thumb and index finger forming an O with the three other fingers splayed out.
The symbol is widely regarded as a white supremacy sign, but it also means OK, which white supremacists hide behind.
Mark McCloskey, center, and Patricia McCloskey, left, posed for pictures with supporters flashing the ‘OK’ symbol, associated with white supremacy, outside the Kenosha County Courthouse as the jury deliberated in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on Tuesday
The McCloskeys gained notoriety after they waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who were marching in their gated St. Louis neighborhood last summer
The McCloskeys were seen among a group of people showing their support for Rittenhouse, who faces murder charges for killing two men at a Black Lives Matter rally in Kenosha on August 25, 2020. He argues he acted in self defense.
McCloskey reportedly had a ‘Mark McCloskey for US Senate’ sign hanging from his SUV on Tuesday.
When he was asked by CNN Correspondent Sara Sidner why he came to the courthouse from Missouri, he said: ‘We are just here to support people’s Second Amendment rights and defend themselves, especially when the government abdicates that duty and fails to protect its citizens.
‘We have programs to defund the police all over the place, but you defund the police, and the government is not there to protect citizens, then citizens must protect themselves,’ he explained.
McCloskey also reportedly compared himself to Rittenhouse, saying they have both been prosecuted and were defending themselves from an ‘angry mob.’
In June, the McCloskeys pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges after they waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching through their neighborhood.
They were ordered to pay fines, but Mark McCloskey left the courthouse defiantly pledging to ‘do it again’ if faced with the same circumstances. Both McCloskeys were pardoned by Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.
Mark, a Republican, announced in May that he was running for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Roy Blunt, a Republican.
He said he hopes the jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty.
Mark McCloskey was one of the dozens of people outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, with some expressing their support for Rittenhouse, as others chanted ‘Black Lives Matter’
He and Patricia were seen posing for pictures with supporters, as he runs for US Senate
McCloskey told a reporter he was at the court house to show his support for people’s Second Amendment rights and the right to defend themselves
The Mccloskey’s just showed up outside the #KyleRittenhousetrial court. They are from Missouri so you may ask why the couple famous for pointing guns at protestors walking near their home are here in Wisconsin? All you have to do is look at the car they are in. POLITICS. pic.twitter.com/5LIsgyCc5h
— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) November 16, 2021
But the McCloskeys were just some of the dozens of protesters who eagerly awaited the results of the trial on Tuesday.
A group of Black Lives Matter protesters chanted ‘No justice, no peace’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ as the jury deliberated inside, and at the center, Kenosha News reports, was Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, whose death at the hands of police officers last year sparked nationwide protests.
The pro-Black Lives Matter protesters reportedly called Rittenhouse a ‘bigot’ and set up a ‘selfie station’ with a cardboard cutout of Rittenhouse holding up the OK sign, which he was pictured doing in January. The judge in his case ruled in September against allowing that to be discussed during Rittenhouse’s trial.
Clyde McLemore, founder of Black Lives Matter North Chicago, also argued with Patricia McCloskey as her husband gave an interview
Meanwhile, a woman was also seen holding up two cardboard signs that read ‘Self-defense is not a crime’ and ‘BLM and Antifa are here 2 intimidate,’ while others waved flags saying ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’ a euphemism for ‘F*** Joe Biden.’
And across the street, at Civic Center Park, a woman who identified herself to Kenosha News as CGW, for Chocolate Goddess Warrior, got into an argument with a white man after she accused the McCloskeys of being white supremacists.
The man reportedly yelled back about the high murder rate in Chicago, to which the woman responded, ‘When black people commit crimes, they go to prison,’ noting she believes Rittenhouse should go to prison as well.
But no violence broke out outside the courthouse, Kenosha News reports, with one local Black Lives Matter organizer calling for ‘being peaceful in the street today.
‘We can’t have infiltrators coming in and agitating,’ Xavier Simmons said.
He noted that he was there ‘for justice for Anthony Huber and Jojo (Joseph Rosenbaum) and the other victim, Gaige (Grosskreutz).’
Clyde McLemore, founder of Black Lives Matter North Chicago, argued with Patricia McCloskey as her husband gave an interview
A man showing his support for Rittenhouse held a ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ flag
The crowds formed as the jury, which was randomly drawn by Rittenhouse on Tuesday, deliberated inside the courthouse.
Rittenhouse faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber when he was just 17 years old.
In his closing arguments on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger tried to paint Rittenhouse as an outsider who came to Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020 to shoot down protesters who took to the streets following the fatal police shooting of Jacob Blake.
He tried to portray Rittenhouse as an active shooter and claimed people in the crowd had the right to stop him.
He also claimed Rittenhouse was looking for the ‘thrill’ of telling people what to do, ‘running around with an AR-15’ with ‘neither the honor nor the legal right to do so.’
‘These guys with the AR-15s are just wannabe soldiers acting tough, trying to manufacture some personal connection to this event, furthering their own personal agenda,’ Binger argued, ‘just a small part of the deluge of chaos tourists we saw here in Kenosha trying to feed off of what we were going through, despite everything we did to try and tell them, go away, stay out.’
He focused largely on Rittenhouse’s actions that night, trying to counter Rittenhouse’s assertions that Rosenbaum was causing trouble all night, swinging a chain, demanding people shoot him, spewing racial slurs and setting fires.
He described Rosenbaum as a small man, at 5-foot-4, with a ‘Napoleon complex,’ but was harmless.
‘Oh, let me tell you all the awful things Joseph Rosenbaum did,’ the prosecutor said.
‘He tipped over a Port-a-Potty that had no one in it. He swung a chain. He lit a . . . Dumpster on fire . . . Oh, and he said some bad words. He said the N-word,’ Binger claimed.
‘If he were alive today . . . I’d probably try and prosecute him for arson. But I can’t because the defendant killed him.
‘But that’s the way we deal with people that do these things. When you commit arson, we prosecute you. We don’t execute you in the street.’
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger tried to paint Rittenhouse as a teenager looking for the ‘thrill’ of telling people what to do, ‘running around with an AR-15’ with ‘neither the honor nor the legal right to do so’
Rittenhouse faces life in prison if convicted of murder in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26
Attorneys for Rittenhouse, meanwhile, claimed he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gage Grosskreutz, 27.
Mark Richards, the attorney representing Rittenhouse in the trial, claimed Rosenbaum was ‘irrational and crazy.’
He said Rosenbaum chased Rittenhouse down until he had him cornered. If Rosenbaum had taken Rittenhouse’s gun from him he would have shot others, Richards said.
‘Mr. Rosenbaum made a fatal mistake that day, chasing Kyle Rittenhouse into the corner,’ Richards argued.
‘He ran as far as he could, and he shot, four times in three-quarters of a second
‘I’m glad [Rittenhouse] shot him because if Joseph Rosenbaum got that gun I don’t for a minute believe he wouldn’t have used it against somebody else,’ he added. ‘Mr. Rosenbaum was hell-bent on causing trouble that night.’
The jury has not reached a verdict in the case as of Tuesday night.