Missouri governor Mike Parson has said he is prepared to pardon the couple who brandished their firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their mansion if prosecutors bring criminal charges against them.
The Republican governor explained that Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who live in the Forest Park area of St. Louis, ‘had every right to protect themselves’ and he would exercise his pardon powers to ensure they did not spend time in jail.
His comments come less than a month after the husband and wife brandished an AR-15 and a handgun at demonstrators marching past their mansion en route to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.
Speaking to 97.1FM Mr Parson said: ‘Right now, that’s what I feel. You don’t know until you hear all the facts.
Missouri governor Mike Parson explained that Mark and Patricia McCloskey ‘had every right to protect themselves’ as protesters marched past their property last month
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who live in the Forest Park area of St. Louis, brandished their firearms at protesters marching past their mansion in their gated community
‘But right now, if this is all about going after them for doing a lawful act, then yeah, if that’s scenario ever happened, I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail.’
‘I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail.’
He continued: ‘A mob does not have the right to charge your property. They had every right to protect themselves.’
The Republican governor later took to Twitter to add: ‘We will not allow law-abiding citizens to be targeted for exercising their constitutional rights.’
On June 28, Mr and Mrs McCloskey, who are both personal injury lawyers and run McCloskey Law Center, were filmed aiming their guns at a group of around 300 demonstrators as they walked past their palatial property at around 6pm.
The protesters were en route to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation after she released the names and addresses of residents who had suggested defunding the police department.
Demonstrators chanted ‘Let’s Go’ as the couple stood at their front door, patrolling back and forth.
President Donald Trump later retweeted footage of the couple without comment.
The governor later took to Twitter to say that he would not allow law-abiding citizens to be targeted for exercising their constitutional rights
The couple came out of their property to brandish their firearms at protesters who they claim broke their way into a gated community
Around 300 protesters made their way into the closed-off community and marched in front of the property
Following the incident, St. Louis police confirmed they had been called to the property at around 7.20pm for an incident involving trespassing and assault 4th intimidation after the McCloskeys issued a ‘call for help’.
In a statement the police said: ‘The victims stated they were on their property when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street.
‘When the victims went to investigate the commotion, they observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ”No Trespassing” and ”Private Street” signs.
‘Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave. The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims.
Following the incident hundreds of protesters turned out for the demonstration near the couple’s property
‘When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police. The investigation is ongoing.’
Earlier this month, state prosecutor Kimberley Gardner, announced that her office would be investigating the actions taken by the couple and said: ‘We will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.’
According to the NRA, state law does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms, but does prohibit exhibiting ‘any weapon readily capable of lethal use’ in an angry or threatening manner in the presence of one or more persons.