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Missouri governor pardons Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who waved guns at protesters

A St. Louis couple who gained national notoriety for brandishing guns at peaceful protesters last year and pleaded guilty to firearm charges were pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson last week.

Sticking to a promise he made before the pair pleaded guilty, the Republican governor announced Tuesday that Mark and Patricia McCloskey were among 12 people granted pardons Friday. In June, Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750, and Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Both agreed to give up the guns they had brandished in the confrontation.

On June 28, 2020, video and photographs showed rifle-wielding Mark McCloskey and pistol-toting Patricia McCloskey in front of their mansion as protesters marched through their gated community to the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson, a Democrat, amid nationwide protests after a police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The images garnered national attention, prompting then-President Donald Trump to speak out in defense of the couple. Trump and other Republicans considered the McCloskeys law-abiding homeowners defending their property. Others saw the couple as overly aggressive toward demonstrators.

The couple, both personal injury attorneys in their 60s, faced felony firearm charges after the display in front of their marble-faced palazzo home but ultimately pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Representatives for the couple and the governor did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post.

Parson, a month after the confrontation, told local radio station KFTK he would pardon the couple if they were convicted.

"By all means, I would, and I think that's exactly what would happen," he said, adding that he first wanted to hear "all the facts."

He reiterated his promise in a news conference months later: "We'll let it play out and see how this all comes out in the courts, but I stand by what I said."

Mark McCloskey announced in May that he would run for one of Missouri's U.S. Senate seats.

Parson has been working through a backlog of clemency requests for months, the St. Louis Post Dispatch previously reported.

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