The couple from St. Louis, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who have been at the center of a recent controversy regarding the ability to brandish weapons in defense of property have been charged with felonies.
According to The Washington Examiner, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, filed charges against the couple on Monday. They were each charged with one count of unlawful use of a weapon, flourishing, which is a class D felony. If convicted, they face a prison sentence of one to four years and a fine of up to $5,000.
The controversy first erupted on June 28 when the McCloskeys wielded weapons in front of their home as protesters marched through their neighborhood on the way to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to demand her resignation. Mayor Krewson had read the names and addresses of people calling for police reform on Facebook live.
The swirling hullabaloo revolves around whether the McCloskey’s were threatening peaceful protesters, or whether they were defending their home from violent intruders. The McCloskeys allege that they were doing the later.
Mark McCloskey appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on the Fox News Channel Monday evening to discuss the newly filed charges against him and his wife.
“It’s a totally upside-down world, Tucker,” McCloskey said. “The people who broke into my neighborhood, they were all trespassing… The guy that planned this event said the next day that he intended to break the law… none of those people are arrested, none of those people are charged… The circuit attorney has apparently decided that her job as a prosecutor isn’t to keep us safe from criminals, but to keep the criminals safe from us.”
On July 6, Patricia McCloskey told Fox News host Sean Hannity that she had overheard the crowd talking about how they were going to take over their home, and kill herself, her husband, and their dog.
After calling the police on June 28, the couple told police that the protesters had broken a gate to get onto private property. A picture of the broken gate subsequently emerged, though video of the incident also showed protesters walking through the gate unbroken and open. It’s unclear when the gate was damaged.
In response to Attorney Gardner’s decision to file charges against the couple, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (AG) tweeted that he believes Gardner is engaged in a “political prosecution” against the McCloskeys.
“St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner is engaged in a political prosecution. I entered the case seeking a dismissal. As AG I have a duty to protect the fundamental rights of all Missourians including the right to keep & bear arms in self-defense of one’s person & home,” he wrote.
In 32 other tweets, AG Schmitt delved into the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and the statutes that he believes provides ample protection for the McCloskey’s actions.
Over the course of the investigation, earlier this month the police obtained a search warrant and seized the two guns that the McCloskeys brandished to defend their home.
Following the filing of the two charges against the McCloskey, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, told Sean Hannity on Monday evening that he will pardon them “without a doubt.”
“I’ll do everything within the constitution of the state of Missouri to protect law-abiding citizens, and those people are exactly that, they’re law-abiding citizens… They had every right to protect their property and their home,” Gov. Parson said.
Gov. Parson also noted that the city of St. Louis has had 135 homicides since the beginning of 2020, and Attorney Gardner has filed just 30 charges out of the 135 cases alleging that she doesn’t have the time or resources to file charges in the rest of them.
“It defies common sense,” Gov. Parson said.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary
Photo from REUTERS
Visit our Election 2020 page