If criminal charges are brought against St. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who were pictured pointing firearms at Black Lives Matter protestors from their mansion, Missouri governor Mike Parson said he is prepared to exercise his pardon powers.
Parson told a St. Louis radio station Friday that, based on what he knows about the case, “I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail” for the incident, photos and videos of which were seen by millions across the country.
If the couple, who “had every right to protect themselves,” are hit with charges, a pardon is “exactly what would happen,” Parson said in the 10-minute interview, during which he also insisted kids go back to school this fall, even "if they do get COVID-19, which they will."
The Republican governor later took to Twitter to say, “We will not allow law-abiding citizens to be targeted for exercising their constitutional rights."
The McCloskeys, who are both personal injury lawyers living in the Forest Park neighborhood, have also spoken out since the confrontation.
“I thought we were going to die,” Mark said Friday in an interview that appeared as a part of President Trump’s latest virtual campaign program. “We have nothing to apologize for. We did nothing wrong and we’re not going to back down.
“I thought that within seconds, we’d be overrun, they’d be in the house, they’d be setting fires, they’d be killing us,” he continued.
His wife Patricia added, “I knew we were on our own and that was it. We were terrified.”
St. Louis county attorney Kimberley Gardner, however, announced last week that an investigation has been launched into the incident.
“We will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of the Missouri law to hold people accountable,” Gardner said.
The McCloskeys have not been charged with anything.