Missouri governor pardons couple who brandished guns at protesters
FILE PHOTO: Patricia and Mark McCloskey of St. Louis, Missouri, who confronted protestors outside their home while holding weapons, speak by video feed during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, U.S. August 2
By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) -Missouri Governor Mike Parson said on Tuesday 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.
In addition to the McCloskeys, who are personal injury lawyers, the Republican governor also pardoned 10 other people on Friday, a document from his office showed.
On June 17, Mark McCloskey, 64, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. His wife pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, also a misdemeanor, online court records showed.
Mark McCloskey was ordered to pay a $750 fine while Patricia McCloskey, 62, was fined $2,000. Both were ordered to turn over weapons used in the incident.
Videos show the white couple shouting at apparently unarmed Black and white protesters to keep off their property on June 28, 2020. Patricia McCloskey pointed a handgun at the crowd while her husband held a semi-automatic weapon.
The protests were part of a nationwide wave of demonstrations over police violence against Black people following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer.
The McCloskeys have said they were frightened for their lives.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted the couple on felony unlawful use of a weapon and tampering charges four months after the incident.
Last July, then-President Donald Trump, a Republican, said charging the couple was an abuse of power. In a live broadcast, the McCloskeys spoke from their home at the Republican National Convention in August. Mark McCloskey announced last month he was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri as a Republican.