The Missouri couple who waved guns at protesters at the height of social-justice protests in 2020 were pardoned by the state’s governor on Tuesday.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced on Tuesday that he would wipe Mark and Patricia McCloskeys’ record clean, along with those of ten other people. Parson, a deeply conservative lawmaker, had expressed sympathy for the couple from the beginning, making it clear a few weeks after the incident that he planned to pardon them if they were charged by local prosecutors.
In June, Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and fined $750, while Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and fined $2,000. The couple also gave up the high-powered guns they used in the confrontation, which came as marchers headed toward a protest at the home of St. Louis mayor Lydia Krewson and passed by the Mcloskeys’ home in an upscale area of the city. A special prosecutor determined that the protesters were peaceful.
Since their initial turn in the spotlight, the McCloskeys have become celebrities in the right-wing mediasphere. Former President Trump defended them last year, and they made a video appearance at the Republican National Convention, where they framed their actions as a reasonable defense against lawless rioters. In May, Mark McCloskey launched a longshot bid for the Senate.
“As many of you know, Patty and I faced political prosecution for having the audacity to defend our lives and property from an angry mob,” Mark McCloskey said in a statement after Tuesday’s news. “Today we are incredibly thankful that Governor Mike Parson righted this wrong and granted us pardons.”