Gun-waving St. Louis couple sue UPI photographer over image of them confronting protestors

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ST. LOUIS (NEXSTAR/KTVI) — A St. Louis couple who drew national attention for waving guns at protestors in June have sued a United Press International photographer and the wire service, alleging a photo of the confrontation was taken on their property.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the lawsuit, which was filed Friday, accusing UPI photographer Bill Greenblatt of trespassing to capture the image between Patricia and Mark McCloskey and protesters on their way to demonstrate outside Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house on June 28.

Protesters were speaking out against the mayor’s decision to publish the names and addresses of police reform supporters.

The McCloskeys allege that their image has grown in popularity across the world, 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.”

The couple also said they have received death threats and that additional protesters have come to their property.

“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,” they said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit follows UPI’s consideration of its own copyright actions against the couple.

The news service recently said it was considering whether to send a “cease and desist” order to the couple because of their use of the UPI photo as part of a personal greeting card.

The couple faced felony charges for unlawful use of weapons and tampering with physical evidence in Oct. They pleaded not guilty.

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