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Missouri Governor Pardons St. Louis Couple Who Pointed Guns at Black Lives Matter Protestors

·3 min read
Mark and Patricia McCloskey
Mark and Patricia McCloskey

Bill Greenblatt/UPI/Shutterstock Mark and Patricia McCloskey

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has pardoned the St. Louis couple who faced charges after they pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters last June.

On Tuesday, Parson, 65, issued 12 pardons and two commutations total, which included Mark and Patricia McCloskey. The Republican governor previously unveiled the list of those to be pardoned on Friday.

Mark previously plead guilty back in June to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750, while Patricia — who plead guilty to misdemeanor harassment — was fined $2,000, per The Hill. The couple, both personal injury attorneys, also agreed to surrender the handgun and semi-automatic rifle that they were seen using.

In a statement obtained by the Associated Press, the McCloskeys' lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said, "Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have the exact same conduct. He believes that the pardon vindicates that conduct."

RELATED: St. Louis Couple Who Pointed Guns at Protestors Last Year Plead Guilty to Misdemeanor Charges

Missouri Governor Mike Parson
Missouri Governor Mike Parson

BILL GREENBLATT/Shutterstock Missouri Governor Mike Parson

The McCloskeys drew national attention in June 2020 when they were seen brandishing the guns outside their home when protesters marched through their gated community amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The protesters were headed to the nearby home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and were calling on the mayor to resign. Police have said the McCloskeys' street is private, and that protesters broke down a gate to gain access.

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Video from the June 28 incident showed the couple holding guns in front of a large crowd of protesters outside their home. Mark — who has since announced plans to run for U.S. senator from Missouri, per NBC News — was filmed holding a large assault weapon, while Patricia was holding a pistol.

Mark and Patricia were each charged with unlawful use of a weapon in July 2020. Regarding their charges, the pair's attorney previously told PEOPLE that he would "vigorously defend my clients in that not only are they innocent of any criminal offense under the laws of Missouri, they are victims of a brazen political prosecution."

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In October, they were indicted by a grand jury for unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, both felony charges, according to The Washington Post.

Special prosecutor Richard Callahan later agree to reduced charges, saying in a statement that he considered "the age and lack of a criminal record for the McCloskeys, the fact they initially called the police and the fact that no one was hurt and no shots were fired," the outlet reported.

"The protestors on the other hand were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor's house," added Callahan.

Parson said last year that he "most certainly would" pardon the couple if they were convicted, the AP previously reported.

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