The political prosecution of Mark and Patricia McCloskey for defending themselves against a mob in Missouri last month has taken another bizarre twist.
Citing what appears to be a crime lab document, KSDK-TV reported that a member of Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s staff ordered Patricia’s pistol, which was inoperable, to be stripped down. The gun was then reassembled by crime lab workers so it would work, the document said.
The pistol, a former courtroom prop, was not capable of firing at the time that Patricia McCloskey pointed it at a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters while standing next to her husband in their yard on June 28, the couple has argued.
The mob was headed toward the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson when it ended up in front of the McCloskeys’ house.
Glad that week is over with pic.twitter.com/7kgAQHBIu6
— WILLIAM GREENBLATT (@BILLGREENBLATT) July 6, 2020
The McCloskeys, who are both in their 60s, were each charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon by Gardner’s office on Monday after their guns were seized by police earlier this month.
But if Patricia McCloskey’s gun was inoperable at the time of the incident, then the charge against her cannot stand.
Missouri law dictates that for a person to face such a charge, the gun would need to be readily operable.
The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, knew the handgun was not capable of firing a round when they displayed their guns in order to deter protesters from entering their property.
“Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley ordered crime lab staff members to field strip the handgun and found it had been assembled incorrectly. Specifically, the firing pin spring was put in front of the firing pin, which was backward, and made the gun incapable of firing,” KSDK’s Christine Byers reported.
Byers further reported that the crime lab reassembled the gun with the firing pin and spring placed correctly, and test fired the weapon.
The action taken by the lab appear to have made the gun “readily capable of lethal use” — which are the exact words that prosecutors used in charging documents when describing the firearm.
Joel Schwartz, an attorney for the McCloskeys, said the gun was made inoperable by the couple so it would be allowed into court during a lawsuit the couple previously filed.
“It’s disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community,” Schwartz told the outlet.
Gardner’s office declined to comment about the new revelation.
The rifle that Mark McCloskey held during the couple’s terrifying June encounter was operable, and was also test fired by the crime lab.
But according to legal experts who spoke with KMOV-TV, the state of Patricia’s handgun during the episode is damaging to Gardner’s case against her.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the case, GOP Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has made it clear he will strongly consider a pardon if the couple is convicted during Gardner’s political witch hunt.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, is also working to have the charges dropped.
He has accused Gardner of engaging in “a political prosecution.”
President Donald Trump has weighed in through White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
McEnany told Fox News on Tuesday that the charges are “politically motivated nonsense,” adding that Trump referred to Gardner’s decision to prosecute the McCloskey’s as “an egregious abuse of power.”
Gardner said she is charging the couple in order to protect the rights of people to “peacefully protest.”
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis,” she said in a statement.
Gardner did not say what is peaceful about a group smashing down a private gate and entering a private street before threatening to burn down a house and kill a family pet, as the McCloskeys contend happened.
The alleged evidence tampering aside, Gardner’s prosecution of the McCloskeys is a political attack on two law-abiding gun owners.
Gardner is the same Democratic public official who refused to prosecute dozens of rioters in her city after days of violence which saw multiple police officers shot and one retired cop murdered.
Patricia McCloskey is now charged with a crime that, according to court documents, never occurred, as her gun was reportedly only operable after it was ordered to be tampered with.
If Gardner’s office felt the McClsokey’s actions were criminal, then it’s hard to imagine why a key piece of evidence would need to be altered.
Then again, activist elected officials such as Gardner at the state and local level have displayed a clear bias against law-abiding Americans, especially since the coronavirus lockdowns began in March.
The McClsokeys represent everything the far left hates about law-abiding citizens.
They are self-made white attorneys living in an affluent neighborhood with legally owned firearms.
A leftist mob could not bring them to their knees on the street, so that mob’s city representative is challenging their apparent privilege in court.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.