St. Louis lawyers who defended their property while displaying firearms face possible license suspension

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LOUIS, MO – A Missouri official is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to suspend the law licenses of a Mark and Patricia McCloskey.

Those are the attorneys who gained national attention last year when they stood outside their St. Louis home waving firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters on their property during the “social justice” violence which broke out during the summer of 2020.

Mark McCloskey told media this week:

“We did was we stood out there and defended ourselves, exercising our Second Amendment rights. Nobody got shot. Not a shot got fired.

“Everybody from the president of the United States, Donald Trump, our governor, Mike Parson, our Attorney General, Eric Schmidt, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, all said that not only didn’t we do anything wrong, they were proud of us.”

In June 2020, widely circulated video showed the McCloskeys standing in front of their home as demonstrators protested the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Mark McCloskey was armed with an AR-15 rifle, and his wife was armed with a semiautomatic pistol.

The McCloskeys said protesters marching through their gated development on their way to the home of then-mayor Lyda Krewson broke through an iron gate and were threatening them on their own property.

Cellphone video captured the confrontation. No shots were fired, and no one was hurt.

Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was ordered to pay a $750 fine. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was ordered to pay $2,000.

After pleading guilty, Mark McCloskey said that he “purposely placed other people in imminent risk” and he would do it again if protesters threatened him, his family, or his property:

“The prosecutor dropped every charge except for alleging that I purposely placed other people in imminent risk of physical injury; right, and I sure as heck did.

“That’s what the guns were there for, and I’d do it again any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to place them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”

 

The couple, who both practice law together at the McCloskey Law Center specializing in personal injury, were pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons (R) in July.

Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel, in a court filing, cited Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s guilty pleas to misdemeanors stemming from the June 2020 encounter. Pratzel’s office is responsible for investigating ethical complaints against Missouri lawyers.

Pratzel is asking the state supreme court to indefinitely suspend the licenses of the two personal injury lawyers, saying the couple showed “indifference to public safety” and involved “moral turpitude,” warranting discipline for the pair.

In his motion, Pratzel argued that the pardon issued by Gov. Parsons erased the convictions, but that “the person’s guilt remains.”

By pleading guilty, the lawyers admitted that they were not lawfully defending themselves, other people or their property, and their conduct wasn’t justified, Pratzel wrote.

Court documents show that Pratzel

Mark McCloskey is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt. At least four other candidates are vying for the nomination: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt; former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations; and U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long.

McCloskey said on the Fox Business program Mornings with Maria that the license suspension effort is from a “totally upside-down world”:

“To say that we engaged in moral turpitude when all we did was defend ourselves is totally insane.”

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Justice is served: Missouri governor pardons St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters while protecting own home

August 3, 2021

 

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.

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.

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.”

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.

 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.

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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