Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who was seen in a viral photo wielding guns against Black Lives Matter protesters in June 2020. The couple took to the streets. pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in June, although Mark McCloskey announced in May that.
Parson issued 12 pardons and two commutations on Tuesday, including the McCloskeys.
According to KMOV-TV, a subsidiary of CBS St. Louis, Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to harassment and was fined $ 2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault and was fined $ 750. They also agreed to hand over the weapons they had used in the incident.
The McCloskeys, both lawyers in their 60s, did not apologize after pleading guilty. “I would do it again,” Mark McCloskey said outside the courthouse, according to KMOV.
“It is illegal to brandish weapons in a threatening case against those participating in a non-violent protest, and while we are fortunate that this situation has not turned into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in Saint -Louis “, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said when announcing charges. “We must protect the right to peaceful protest, and any attempt to curb it through intimidation will not be tolerated.”
The McCloskeys have become heroes among many conservatives after saying they felt threatened by protesters, who on June 28 marched through the Central West End of St. Louis towards the mayor’s home to demand his resignation amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality. The couple even had prime-time slots at the Republican National Convention in 2020.
Mark McCloskey told KMOV in July 2020 that he and his wife, who are both lawyers, faced an “angry mob” on their private street and feared for their lives.
“It was like the storming of the Bastille, the gate fell and a large crowd of angry and aggressive people poured in,” said Mark McCloskey at the time. “I was afraid we would be murdered in seconds. Our house would be set on fire, our pets would be killed.”
A special prosecutor said his investigation found no evidence that any of the protesters had weapons, according to KMOV.