Missouri’s governor on Friday said that even if a St. Louis couple who held off a mob by brandishing their legally owned weapons was ever convicted on charges, he would strongly consider a pardon for them.
In June, Mark and Patricia McCloskey received extensive attention after video was shared of the armed couple confronting protesters outside their home. The pair’s original lawyer, Al Watkins, alleged the unruly group tore down a gate that led to the McCloskey’s private community, according to Fox News.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat, issued a statement saying she deplored the fact that “peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault,” according to KDSK-TV.
As part of that investigation, St. Louis police executed a search on the McCloskey home and left the property with the AR-15 that Mark McCloskey is seen carrying in the viral video.
BREAKING: I just got off the phone with Mark McCloskey. He confirms that a warrant was executed at his St. Louis home. Police took his gun. https://t.co/UgHtyJj6dw
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) July 11, 2020
The pistol Patricia McCloskey was holding was later turned in to police. According to a separate KSDK-TV report, the McCloskeys say the pistol was inoperable, and had been for some time before the confrontation.
In an interview Saturday on Fox News “Watters’ World,” Mark McCloskey said he expects to be indicted — and slammed mainstream media coverage of the case.
“The St. Louis media has been slandering and maligning us,” he said.
But at least his governor, Republican Mike Parson, is sympathetic.
During an interview on KFTK-FM a day before the McCloskey “Watters’ World” appearance, Parson was asked about the case.
“Regardless of what the people’s last name are, you’re talking the law to stand your ground,” Parson said, also citing “the castle doctrine, which I helped write in the state of Missouri.”
“They did what they legally should do,” he said.
“A mob does not have the right to charge your property or come on your property not knowing what the intent is,” he said. “They had every right to protect themselves.”
Parson said the couple should be spared further investigation.
“What Kim Gardner is doing is just by far making the situation worse, making it more political by just attempting to file charges against them” he said, saying that the situation had grown “out of control.”
When asked directly if he would pardon the couple should they be convicted, Parson said he was definitely leaning in that direction.
“Right now, this is all about going after them because they did a lawful act,” he said.
Parson was asked if he had the power to pardon the couple if they were tried and convicted.
“Oh by all means I would,” he said.
“I think that’s exactly what would happen,” Parson said, adding that if the couple were convicted “I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail.”
We will not allow law-abiding citizens to be targeted for exercising their constitutional rights. https://t.co/6t5dUxdVgp
— Mike Parson (@mikeparson) July 18, 2020
Parson on Saturday retweeted a link to the interview on his personal Twitter page.
Gardner, for her part, has publicly resisted pressure from Republicans such as Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley.
Baseless. Our office will continue to investigate this matter, and will not be bullied by a sitting U.S. Senator or anyone else. https://t.co/IWhHD8RaxG
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) July 16, 2020
Gardner has said she will pursue the investigation despite calls to end it.
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