Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) pledged on Monday night to pardon St. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who were both charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon earlier that day for pointing their guns at nonviolent Black Lives Matter protesters walking past their home last month.
“Without a doubt, Sean,” Parson replied when Fox News host Sean Hannity asked if he would pardon the couple if they were convicted. “I’ll do everything within the constitution of the state of Missouri to protect law-abiding citizens, and those people are exactly that. They’re law-abiding citizens.”
“And they’re being attacked, frankly, by a political process that’s really unfortunate,” the governor added. “It’s a sad day for us here in Missouri.”
Parson repeated his previous defense of the McCloskeys, arguing that the couple “had every right to protect their property, their home, just like any of us would.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed the charges against the couple earlier on Monday over the incident, asserting in a statement that “while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.”
“We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated,” Gardner said.
The prosecutor also stated that she was “open” to recommending that the McCloskeys participate in a diversion program, such as community service, instead of jail time.
Al Watkins, a lawyer representing the couple, told TPM in an emailed statement on Tuesday morning that Parson “knows there will be no need to pardon Mr. or Mrs. McCloskey because the law simply will not permit a conviction.”
TPM has reached out to Gardner’s spokesperson, Allison Hawk.
Watch Parson below:
MO governor says he will pardon the gun couple "without a doubt." pic.twitter.com/eLfVBirgkc
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 21, 2020