Missouri Gov. Mike Parson suggested on Friday that he would pardon Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple that aimed their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in their neighborhood, if they were to be convicted for the incident.
No charges have been filed.
“By all means, I would, and I think that’s exactly what would happen. Right now that’s what I feel,” Parson replied when local radio host Marc Cox asked the governor if he was weighing a pardon.
“You don’t know until you hear all the facts and all that,” Parson added. “But right now, if this is all about going after them because they did a lawful act, then, yeah, if that scenario happened, I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is currently investigating the McCloskeys, who both pointed firearms at nonviolent protesters walking past their home on June 28. The demonstrators were not on the McCloskey’s personal property.
Evita Caldwell, the public information officer at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, confirmed to TPM that law enforcement had seized the couple’s guns with a search warrant a little over a week ago.
In the aftermath of the incident, Mark McCloskey argued that the entire neighborhood is technically his private property given it is a gated community, and that he and his wife therefore had a right to defend themselves against what he described as a “frightening crowd.”
Parson has rallied around the McCloskeys, asserting that they “had every right to protect their property” and accusing Gardner’s investigation of being a politically motivated “attack law-abiding citizens.”
President Donald Trump has also attacked the prosecutor’s probe, which he called a “disgrace.” After Parson stated that Trump would be getting involved in the case, Al Watkins, one of the McCloskey’s lawyers, told TPM last week that he has been in talks with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
TPM has reached out to Watkins and Gardner’s spokesperson regarding Parson’s comments on a potential pardon.