Missouri governor pardons St. Louis couple Mark, Patricia McCloskey after guilty pleas in gun-waving incident

Mark McCloskey announces Senate run

St. Louis attorney seeks to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

The St. Louis couple who was famously pictured wielding guns as Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched outside their property last year received a pardon from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, his office announced Tuesday. 

The pardons for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, two attorneys in their 60s, were granted July 30. In total, Parson, a Republican, granted 12 pardons and two commutations. 

The pair pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in connection with the June 2020 incident and were ordered to pay fines. Mark McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault for threatening the passersby with an AR-15 rifle and was fined $750.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey draw their firearms on protestors as they enter their St. Louis neighborhood during a protest against then-Mayor Lyda Krewson in June 2020. 

Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to harassment and was given a $2,000 fine. They did not lose their law licenses or their firearms. 

“It’s a correction of something that should have never happened in the first place,” Mark McCloskey told Fox News of the pardons.  

The pair were both vilified and celebrated after images went viral showing them pointing weapons at BLM demonstrators who ingressed into the property inside a gated community. They eventually ventured onto a private street near the McCloskey’s mansion. 

The crowd was marching toward the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson amid nationwide protest over the police killing of George Floyd. 

Mark McCloskey was seen holding a rifle while his wife appeared to be holding a handgun with her finger on the trigger. 

The confrontation pitted Second Amendment and property-rights activists against Black Lives Matter supporters. The McCloskeys became famous in conservative circles and even gave a speech on the first night of the 2020 Republican National Convention.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner initially lodged weapons and evidence tampering charges against the pair but was legally removed from the case after defense attorneys argued she exploited the prosecution in a fundraising email to constituents. 

Fox News has reached out to the Circuit Attorney’s Office. 

Mark McCloskey, who has since announced a GOP run for a Missouri U.S. Senate seat, said his case was part of a trend where conservatives are being prosecuted for minor incidents while criminals such as looters and rioters are not. 

Nine Black Lives Matter protesters were issued citations for trespassing in connection with the incident but prosecutors refused to move forward. The couple’s attorney said the demonstrators broke down a gate to get onto the private street and threatened them.

Prosecutors determined the demonstrators acted peacefully. 

“If you’ve got an ‘R’ behind your name, you’re subject to one kind of justice system and if you have a ‘D,’ you’re subjected to another,”  he said. 

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