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Governor pardons US couple who waved guns at protesters

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Patricia and Mark McCloskey are seen outside their St. Louis home in June 2020 wielding guns at Black Lives Matter protesters./AFP
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Aug 04, 2021 - 07:54 AM

WASHINGTON — The US couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their mansion in Missouri last year were pardoned in the misdemeanor convictions related to the case, the Midwestern state’s governor’s office said Tuesday.

The images of Mark and Patricia McCloskey armed and barefoot on their lawn made them instant symbols of America’s polarization amid last summer’s racial justice protests.

Both were originally charged with felony misuse of weapons after they were seen waving their guns and shouting as the peaceful protest march against police abuse and racism passed by on June 28, 2020.

They subsequently pleaded guilty to charges of fourth degree assault for him and misdemeanor harassment for her last month and were fined $750 and $2,000, respectively.

Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson granted the couple pardons last week, a move he had promised since early on in their legal process as conservatives in the state defended the McCloskeys actions.

There was no evidence that either had been threatened by the protestors on their street.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest,” the attorney for St Louis, Kimberly Gardner, said in a statement when the two were first charged last year.

They became Republican heroes in the hotly fought presidential election last year, warning that Democrats would take away Americans’ gun rights.

“Make no mistake: No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America,” Patricia McCloskey said in a video the two made for the August Republican national convention that nominated Donald Trump for a second term as president.

In May Mark McCloskey announced he was running for one of Missouri’s seats in the US Senate.

In a campaign video he highlighted the incident, while exaggerating the threat the couple faced.

“When the angry mob came to destroy my house and kill my family, I took a stand against them,” he said. “I will never back down.”

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