On Tuesday, the couple who pointed guns at social justice demonstrators as they passed their luxury St Louis home last year was pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson as promised.
The governor pardoned Mark McCloskey, who had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in the fourth degree and had been fined $750; and Patricia McCloskey, who had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and had been fined $2,000 in June.
The demonstrators, who were passing their home in June 2020 on their way to rally in front of the mayor’s house nearby in one of the hundreds of other demonstrations around the country following George Floyd’s death, made the McCloskeys allegedly feel threatened. The group was also had said to be trespassing on a private street.
According to the indictment, Mark McCloskey emerged brandishing an AR-15-style weapon from his residence while Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol. The incident was filmed on camera and smartphone video, and it garnered global attention, making the pair heroes to some and criminals to others. There were no shots fired, and no one was injured.
According to Special Prosecutor Richard Callahan’s investigation, the demonstrators were nonviolent.
Callahan said in a news release after the McCloskeys pleaded guilty that “There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave.”
After the plea hearing, Mark McCloskey, who launched his candidacy for the United States Senate in Missouri in May, was unapologetic.
“I’d do it again,” he said from the courthouse steps. “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.”
The McCloskeys’ law licenses and right to own firearms were not jeopardized because the charges were misdemeanors.
A grand jury indicted the McCloskeys on felony charges of unauthorized firearm use and evidence tampering in October. Later, Callahan changed the charges to allow jurors to choose between a misdemeanor harassment conviction and a weapons conviction.