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Missouri governor, attorney general want charges dropped against gun-toting St. Louis couple

2020-07-22

The governor and attorney general of Missouri want the charges dropped against the St. Louis couple who gained national attention for pointing guns at civil rights protesters last month outside their mansion.

St. Louis’ top prosecutor Kim Gardner charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey on Monday with felony unlawful use of a weapon for allegedly displaying their guns in a threatening manner. However, attorney general Eric Schmitt is putting his support behind the couple.

Mark McCloskey waved an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey pointed a semiautomatic pistol, according to charging documents.

“Enough is enough,” Schmitt said after the charges were filed. “A political prosecution such as this one would have a chilling effect on Missourians exercising the right to self defense.”

Schmitt also referenced “rates of violent crimes skyrocketing each day” as reason enough to drop the charges against the couple who have claimed self-defense for pointing weapons against the unarmed protesters who were not on the couple’s property, according to multiple videos of the incident.

“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.” Gardner said after filing the charges.

The prosecutor also said she would seek community service instead of jail time if the couple was convicted.

Gov. Mike Parson has stated he will likely pardon the couple if they are convicted and called the charges “outrageous.”

“Kim Gardner’s action toward the McCloskeys is outrageous,” Parson said. “Even worse, the Circuit Attorney’s office has admitted there is a backlog of cases and dozens of homicides that haven’t been prosecuted, yet she has accelerated this case forward.”

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley has also demanded Gardner charge the protesters with trespassing.

Gardner has reportedly received “numerous threats to her life” since announcing an investigation into the McCloskey’s actions.

No court date for the case has been set.