Missouri’s governor pardoned the gun-toting lawyers who brandished firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their St. Louis home last year.
Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, announced Tuesday that he pardoned Mark McCloskey, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault, and Patricia McCloskey, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment. The couple had been initially indicted on felony charges.
The McCloskeys, both in their 60s, said they felt threatened during the June 2020 demonstrations, one of countless similar marches across the country in response to George Floyd’s death.
They also said the protesters were illegally marching in a Central West End gated community.
Mark, who has capitalized on his ensuing notoriety and will run for US Senate as a Republican, came out of his home with an AR-15-style rifle, while Patricia waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to court records.
The couple did not fire their weapons, and no one was hurt, but the widespread attention from the viral confrontation turned the lawyers into instant villains — and heroes to some.
A special investigator ruled that the protesters who the McCloskeys confronted were peaceful.
“There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave,” Richard Callahan said in a news release last year.
The couple has remained unapologetic.
“I’d do it again,” Mark previously said outside court. “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.”
With Post wires