You might have seen the image of the St. Louis couple pointing their guns at Black Lives Matter protestors who were marching outside of their mansion. Their names are Mark and Patricia McCloskey, and they’re personal injury attorneys. The couple decided to file a lawsuit against the United Press International photographer Bill Greenblatt. The court documents claim that Greenblatt and his associates are profiting from masks, t-shirts, and using photographs of the plaintiffs’ likeness without their consent. The suit also mentions an online shop that sells merchandise was using their image with captions that were hurtful. The plaintiffs claim that these postings were causing them mental anguish, severe emotional distress, and humiliation.
UPI said earlier that they were thinking about sending a cease and desist to the couple since the couple was using this image in a personal greeting card despite it being the news service’s photo. This is thanks to the law that allows newspaper photographers to take images from the public rights of way. As you can imagine, this is becoming a tricky situation. The newspaper didn’t use disparaging comments or captions in the original photo, though the plaintiffs are suffering emotional distress from captions that were used elsewhere on the photographer’s snap.
The gun-toting couple also argues that BLM trespassers were trespassing during the incident that was captured. They live on a private street and they believe that they were protecting their property. The couple came to so much fame that they even had a spot in the Republican National Convention to talk about their experience. Since then, they have been indicted on charges that include unlawful use of a weapon as well as tampering with evidence. They plead not guilty and there’s no further update to that case. The couple has asked the court not to use the photo, and actually ban it from the courtroom. They also said that they should get the ownership of the images that were taken and used, along with any other pictures that were taken of them around their property. This is due to the fact that they believe the photographer was trespassing when he took the initial photo of them waving their guns at BLM protestors.