O’FALLON, MO – Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons pardoned a couple who made headlines after defending their property from Black Lives Matter protesters by pointing guns at them during unrest following the death of George Floyd.
Missouri governor pardons McCloskey couple, who waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020 https://t.co/lY1uOREg6W
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 3, 2021
Patricia and Mark McCloskey, who pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor charges resulting from the incident, were among 12 pardons issued by the governor last week.
The couple were arrested for “threatening” the demonstrators as they passed close to their home. Mark McCloskey was armed with an AR-15 rifle and prosecutors claimed he threatened the demonstrators.
Patricia McCloskey was armed with a handgun, and photographs showed her finger on the trigger as she pointed it at BLM protesters.
BREAKING NEWS: Missouri governor pardons St. Louis couple Mark, Patricia McCloskey after guilty pleas in gun-waving incidenthttps://t.co/34L4Nu2Dnu
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 3, 2021
No shots were ever fired during the incident, and no injuries occurred.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty in June to fourth-degree assault and was fined $750. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000.
McCloskeys’ lawyer Joel Schwartz commented about the pardon on Tuesday:
“Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have the exact same conduct.
“He believes that the pardon vindicates that conduct.”
Mark McCloskey later told the media:
“It’s a correction of something that should have never happened in the first place.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he has granted pardons to Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who drew international attention for brandishing guns at racial justice protesters last year. https://t.co/wl3GoYlDki
— Newsmax (@newsmax) August 3, 2021
The couple became a symbol of the division in the country when photographs of them pointing weapons at the Black Lives Matter demonstrators as they trespassed inside the gated community went viral.
The demonstrators were marching toward the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson while protesting the death of Floyd, who was killed while being arrested by Minneapolis police in May 2020. Former officer Derek Chauvin has since been convicted in his death.
The incident created a debate between Second Amendment supporters and social justice activists. Supporters said the McCloskey’s were exercising their right to defend themselves and their property.
Critics said the couple overreacted and threatened the safety of the people exercising their right to demonstrate.
Less than two months after Mark and Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to assault and harassment charges for threatening Black Lives Matter protesters, Missouri’s Republican Governor Mike Parson has pardoned the gun-toting St. Louis couple.pic.twitter.com/BRFCZN4qdv
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 3, 2021
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner originally charged the couple with weapons and evidence tampering charges, but was removed from the case when a judge disqualified her writing:
“The Circuit Attorney’s conduct raises the appearance that she initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes”.
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan amended a felony grand jury indictment of the couple and allowed jurors the alternative of conviction of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charges.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, the couple agreed to surrender their handgun and AR-15 to authorities.
Had the original charges gone forward, the McCloskeys, in their 60s, could have lost their law licenses.
NEW: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that he had pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who were charged with waving guns at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home last year. https://t.co/tahLeL5x7S
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 3, 2021
Mark McCloskey said after his plea hearing:
“I’d do it again,” he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis. “Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
He is putting his sudden fame to use, running for the U.S. Senate seat of Roy Blunt, who announced he would not seek re-election next year.
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Couple who defended own home plead guilty to misdemeanors over armed confrontation
June 18, 2021
ST LOUIS, MO – Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who gained national attention, and a sizeable amount of notoriety, for confronting protesters outside of their home while armed have reportedly pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges over the incident.
While the couple have to reportedly surrender the firearms used in the specific incident, neither of the two will lose their right to own a firearm.
BREAKING: A St. Louis couple who pointed guns at social justice protesters last summer plead guilty to misdemeanor charges.
Patricia McCloskey and Mark McCloskey were both fined and agreed to forfeit their weapons. https://t.co/zgPtWPcQMh
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 17, 2021
We at Law Enforcement Today previous reported on Mark and Patricia McCloskey being charged in connection with the June 28th, 2020 incident where hundreds of protesters descended upon their lawn and began to threaten the family.
By October of 2020, a grand jury had indicted the couple over the incident with exhibiting a weapon and tampering with evidence.
The incident sparked a national debate on whether the husband and wife were justified in their actions when brandishing firearms in the direction of the hundreds of protesters that were shouting threats at the couple.
However, it seems as though the husband and wife – who also happen to be attorneys – won’t be facing any jail time or harboring any felonies from the incident.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
According to reports, Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined fined $2,000. As for her husband, Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750.
Part of the plea also required that the two surrender the weapons used in the incident, which said firearms will reportedly be destroyed. But, the McCloskeys will not be losing their gun rights due to the matter.
While standing before Judge David Mason on June 17th, the judge had asked Mark McCloskey if he acknowledges that his actions on June 28th, 2020 put people at risk of personal injury.
Mark McCloskey responded with:
“I sure did your honor.”
Following the hearing, Mark McCloskey was unapologetic about his actions from June of last year, proudly saying on the courthouse steps that he’d gladly “do it again”:
“I’d do it again. Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
Mark and Patricia #McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who were seen holding firearms as #BlackLivesMatter activists approached their home, pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges and surrendered their guns. https://t.co/yGlgvUQVay
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) June 18, 2021
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan also spoke with members of the press following the hearing, saying that the misdemeanor plea deal was more than fair considering that no shots were fired and the McCloskeys called the police during the incident.
However, Callahan did criticize the McColskeys’ “conduct” after the incident – particularly framing their prosecution as some sort of attack on the Second Amendment:
“But I think that their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end…I don’t think people should view this case as some type of betrayal or assault on the Second Amendment. We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”
The case fell into the hands of special prosecutor Callahan back in December of 2020 after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was found to be using the case as a means to raise funds for her campaign.
While Gardner fought tooth and nail to keep the case, the case was ultimately left to Callahan for prosecution.
What’s all the more interesting is whether the McCloskeys will be pardoned down the line for the misdemeanors, as Missouri Governor Mike Parson said back in October that he “most certainly would” if the couple were convicted in the case.
Following the charges back in October of 2020, Governor Parson noted that while he’d wait to see what happens in the courts, he’d “stand by” his comments on a potential pardon:
“We’ll let it play out and see how this all comes out in the courts, but I stand by what I said.”
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