Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who made national headlines last summer for defending their home against protestors. Mark McCloskey also is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.
The McCloskeys, both lawyers in their 60s, said they felt threatened by the protesters, who were passing their home in June 2020 on their way to demonstrate in front of the mayor’s house nearby in one of hundreds of similar demonstrations around the country after George Floyd’s death. The couple said the group was trespassing on a private street
Mark McCloskey emerged from his home with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to the indictment. Photos and cellphone video captured the confrontation, which drew widespread attention and made the couple heroes to some and villains to others. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.
“I’d do it again,” he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis. “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.”
Because the charges were misdemeanors, the McCloskeys did not face the possibility of losing their law licenses or their rights to own firearms. The McCloskeys were indicted by a grand jury in October on felony charges of the unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. Callahan later amended the charges to give jurors the alternative of convictions of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charge.
Parson’s legal team has been working through a backlog of clemency requests for months. He hasn’t yet taken action on longtime inmate Kevin Strickland, whom several prosecutors now say is innocent of a 1978 Kansas City triple homicide. Parson could pardon Strickland, but he has said he’s not convinced he is innocent.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice