Pro-Trump couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in St Louis plead guilty

·2 min read
Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey confront Black Lives Matter protesters in St Louis on 28 June, 2020 (AP)
Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey confront Black Lives Matter protesters in St Louis on 28 June, 2020 (AP)

The couple who were caught on camera pointing guns at social justice protesters in St Louis last summer have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey hit the headlines when they brandished their weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their mansion in the city in June 2020.

As part of their plea the couple, who are both lawyers, agreed to give up the weapons they had on them during the high-profile incident.

Ms McCloskey, who had carried a semi-automatic pistol, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000, while her husband, who had been armed with an AR-15-style rifle, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750.

During the hearing on Thursday, Judge David Mason asked Mr McCloskey if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury.

“I sure did your honour,” he replied.

Mr McCloskey is now running to be the Republican candidate for Missouri’s US Senate seat, and was unapologetic when he spoke after the hearing.

“I’d do it again,” he said outside the St Louis courthouse.

“Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”

The couple can continue to own guns and will not lose their law licences as the charges were only misdemeanours.

Prosecutor Richard Callahan welcomed the guilty pleas.

“This particular resolution of these two cases represents my best judgment of an appropriate and fair disposition for the parties involved as well as the public good,” he said.

And he added that the protesters on that day “were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house. There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realised they had ventured onto a private enclave.”

The incident took place weeks after the murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota.

Republicans, including then-president Donald Trump, spoke out in support of the couple, who later spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Missouri ‘s Republican Governor Mike Parson has previously said that he would pardon the McCloskeys if they were convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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