The St. Louis couple who went viral last month after footage of them pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home, have been charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney Office said in a statement Monday.
The charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, were filed following an investigation led by circuit attorney Kim Gardner, who launched a probe into the video last month after it made the rounds online. Video showed the couple after they'd emerged from their mansion in a gated community while a group of protesters were headed to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson (D), after she read aloud activists' personal information on a livestream.
As the group of protesters passed by the McCloskey's home, the couple was seen yelling and pointing their guns at them. In an interview with KMOV, the couple, who are both attorneys, claimed they were afraid for their lives and had armed themselves in case the group became violent.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Mark McCloskey said, "It’s a totally upside-down world. The prosecutor apparently thinks her job isn’t to keep us safe from criminals, but to keep the criminals safe from us. ... We’re not going to apologize for doing what’s right."
McCloskey said the protests over racial injustice are "a concerted effort to destroy our way of life. To change the fundamental social contract, do away with capitalist democracy and replace it with mob rule."
In a statement Monday, Gardner said "it is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest" adding that if the McCloskeys completed a diversion program, she believed that it would "serve as a fair resolution to this matter.”
In order to qualify for the diversion program, defendants must plead guilty. If the program is completed, the guilty plea is withdrawn and the charge dismissed.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has stated that if the McCloskey's were charged for brandishing their weapons, he would likely pardon the couple.
"I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail,” Parson said in a radio interview last week. The governor may only pardon someone after a conviction is obtained.
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