Missouri governor pardons couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters – .

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Missouri governor pardons couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters – .


Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced on Tuesday that he had kept his promise to pardon a couple who had made themselves known for pointing guns at social justice protesters as they walked past the couple’s home in a luxurious enclave of Saint-Louis last year.
Parson, a Republican, on Friday pardoned Mark McCloskey, who pleaded guilty in June to a fourth-degree assault and was fined US $ 750, and Patricia McCloskey, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment and a fine of US $ 2,000.

“Mark McCloskey has said publicly that if he were involved in the same situation, he would behave exactly the same,” McCloskey lawyer Joel Schwartz said on Tuesday.

“He believes that forgiveness justifies this conduct. “

The McCloskeys, both attorneys in their 60s, said they felt threatened by protesters, who walked past their home in June 2020 as they marched outside the mayor’s house nearby in one of hundreds of similar protests across the country after George Floyd’s. death.

Patricia McCloskey shoots a gun at protesters in St. Louis, Missouri in June 2020. (Lawrence Bryant/Reuters)

The couple also said the group was entering a private street.

Mark McCloskey came out of his house with an AR-15 type rifle and Patricia McCloskey brandished a semi-automatic pistol, according to the indictment.

Cell phone photos and videos captured the confrontation, which caught everyone’s attention and made the couple heroes for some and villains for others. No shots were fired and no one was injured.

Special Prosecutor Richard Callahan said his investigation determined the protesters were peaceful.

“There was no evidence that any of them possessed a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured into a private enclave,” Callahan said in a statement from press after the McCloskeys pleaded guilty.

‘I would do it again’

Several Republican leaders, including then-President Donald Trump, have stood up for the actions of the McCloskeys. The couple spoke on video at the Republican National Convention last year.

Mark McCloskey, who announced in May he was running for a US Senate seat in Missouri, did not apologize after the plea hearing.

“I would do it again,” he said from the steps of the downtown St. Louis courthouse. “Whenever the crowd approaches me, I will do what I can to put them in imminent danger of physical injury, because that is what kept them from destroying my home and my family. “

The McCloskeys are seen at a Trump campaign event in Scranton, Pa., In September 2020. (Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

Because the charges were misdemeanors, the McCloskeys were not faced with the possibility of losing their legal licenses or their rights to own firearms.

The McCloskeys were indicted by a grand jury in October on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. Callahan then changed the charges to give jurors the alternative of harassment convictions instead of the weapons charge.

Parson’s legal team has been working on a backlog of clemency requests for months. He has yet to take action against longtime inmate Kevin Strickland, who several prosecutors say is now innocent of a triple homicide in Kansas City in 1978. Parson could forgive Strickland, but he said that he was not convinced he was innocent.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson is seen in Jefferson City, Missouri, Jan. 27. (Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press)

The Democratic leader of Missouri has opposed Parson’s treatment of Strickland’s case with the McCloskeys in bitter denunciations of the governor’s action.

“It’s more than disgusting that Mark and Patricia McCloskey have admitted breaking the law and within weeks they are being rewarded with pardons, yet men like Kevin Strickland, who has spent over 40 years in prison for crimes that even prosecutors are now saying he hasn’t committed, staying behind bars with no hope of mercy, ”Missouri House Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade said in a statement.

Democratic State Representative LaKeySha Bosley said: “The governor’s coup disturbingly underscores that under his leadership justice belongs only to the privileged elite of this state. “

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