The St. Louis couple who rose to fame after pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protestors outside their mansion are suing United Press International’s Bill Greenblatt. In the suit, Mark and Patricia McCloskey allege that Greenblatt trespassed on their property to snap the image during the June confrontation.
The McCloskeys are seeking damages as well as the ban of the image and transfer of ownership of the photo to them along with any others taken on their property. The news publication has also considered issuing a “cease and desist” order to the couple after the two used the image in a greeting card.
Fox News reports:
The photo — which shows Mark wielding an AR-15 rifle in a pink polo shirt and khaki slacks, with Patricia by his side holding a semiautomatic handgun — contributed to the couple’s “significant national recognition and infamy,” the suit states.
The defendants, including Greenblatt and UPI, are profiting from “T-shirts, masks, and other items, and licensing use of photographs bearing Plaintiffs’ likenesses, without obtaining Plaintiffs’ consent,” the court documents claim.
The suit also names online print-shop Redbubble for selling merchandise with the couple’s image accompanied by “mocking and pejorative taglines or captions” — causing them “humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress.”
“Defendants acted outrageously and beyond all reasonable bounds of decency, with their conduct regarded as atrocious and intolerable by any member of a civilized society,” the suit boldly charges.
The incident captured the nation’s attention eventually leading to the couple speaking at the Republican National Convention. Besides alleging their lives were threatened, the McCloskeys have also claimed that protestors trespassed on the private street. News photographers are allowed to take photos on public rights of way.