St. Louis Couple Files Lawsuit Against Photographer Who Captured Their Gun-Toting ‘Humiliation’

Illustration for article titled St. Louis Couple Files Lawsuit Against Photographer Who Captured Their Gun-Toting ‘Humiliation’
Photo: Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee (Getty Images)

Gun-wielding St. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey—aka the people who would come in the mail if you ordered Bonnie and Clyde on Wish—are suing the United Press International photographer who took a picture over the summer that went viral of them doing the thing that is the only reason anyone knows they exist. In a lawsuit filed Friday, the couple claimed they have been caused much “humiliation” because of the photo showing them pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters as they passed through a private street the couple lives on.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the McCloskeys—who were indicted on felony charges over their rich, white thuggery last month—have accused UPI photographer Bill Greenblatt of trespassing in order to capture the photo, which, for whatever reason, they claim to believe is responsible for their embarrassment. Apparently, their infamy isn’t due to the viral video or...oh, I don’t know...the consequences of their own actions; it’s definitely the photo that did it. (I also heard Greenblatt was the cameraman for The Ring and now the McCloskeys want him brought up on multiple homicide charges.)

From the Post-Dispatch:

The couple, known for being litigious even before the June 28 encounter, said Greenblatt’s photo has contributed to their “significant national recognition and infamy.” In addition to Greenblatt and the news service, the McCloskeys are suing Redbubble Inc., a San Francisco-based online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on user-submitted artwork.

Their image has proliferated across the world, the McCloskeys allege, with Redbubble, Greenblatt and UPI profiting from “t-shirts, masks, and other items, and licensing use of photographs bearing Plaintiffs’ likenesses, without obtaining Plaintiffs’ consent.”

Often their image on merchandise sold by Redbubble is accompanied with “mocking and pejorative taglines or captions,” causing them “humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress,” the suit alleges.

Well shit. Maybe I just dreamed that this couple of Al and Peg Bundy meets Ozark cosplayers reveled in their newfound fame to the point where they accepted an invitation to speak at the Republican National Convention in August. That happened.

So, I don’t get it. Video footage from the June 28 incident has been all over the internet. The footage has been screenshotted and memed to death and the posts are pretty much always accompanied by “mocking and pejorative” comments and repost captions. This is a polite way of saying that bootleg Gomez and Morticia Addams—either of whom could easily be mistaken for Uncle Fester—have been getting dragged all up and down the internet for months, and I fail to see the logic in singling out the photo taken by Greenblatt as the reason for it.

In fact, according to USA Today, UPI said recently it was considering sending a “cease and desist” order to the couple citing copyright infringement because Great Value Boris and Natasha have used the very UPI photo they’re now suing over as part of a personal greeting card. (This is officially the worst episode of Seinfeld ever.)


Anyway, as the Post-Dispatch pointed out, “newspaper photographers are allowed to capture images from public rights of way.” Still, the couple insists that Greenblatt and Redbubble “acted outrageously and beyond all reasonable bounds of decency, with their conduct regarded as atrocious and intolerable by any member of a civilized society,” according to the lawsuit.

For the record: Pointing guns at protesters who, by most accounts, never did anything to threaten the couple or their property is what many people would actually consider “atrocious and intolerable” conduct. If that weren’t the case, they wouldn’t be getting roasted the way they have been in the first place and there would be no humiliation.


I’m just saying, a whole lot of people apparently don’t live in “civilized society.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons



The giveaway here is they are also suing for ownership of the photo. What’s really going on is they want to be the ones making money from the picture but they can’t as long as the photog owns it.