St. Louis couple charged with felony, governor vows pardon
The St. Louis couple that was captured on a viral video defending their homes with a display of legally-owned guns has been charged with unlawful use of weapons under Missouri statute. The statute makes a crime of anyone who “Exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.”
“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,” said St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, who offered Mark and Patricia McCloskey a plea deal in order to avoid jail time.
Protesters trespassed on the McCloskeys’ private property while attempting to gain access to the mayor’s house. The couple said that they feared for their lives and argued that their response was proportional to the threat.
Missouri’s Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, agreed.
“Citizens shouldn’t be targeted for exercising their #2A right to self-defense,” tweeted Schmitt. “STL prosecutor Kim Gardner is engaged in a political prosecution. As AG I’m entering the case seeking a dismissal & defend all Missourians’ right to protect their lives/property.”
The McCloskeys’ attorney said he was disappointed at the charges.
“I unequivocally believe no crime was committed,” said defense lawyer Joel Schwartz in a statement.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he would pardon the couple if they were charged with a crime.
Last week, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked that a civil rights investigation be opened on the St. Louis Circuit Attorney.
“This morning I have asked the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation into the St Louis Circuit Attorneys Office,” tweeted Hawley. “Targeting law abiding citizens who exercise constitutionally protected rights for investigation & prosecution is an abuse of power.”
Gardner is under fire by conservatives for being an activist city attorney, who selectively enforces that law and for taking money by uber-progressive, billionaire George Soros.
Soros has been funding AG, DA and city attorney races to elect progressive-minded attorneys who will use the criminal laws to favor progressives.
So far this election cycle, Gardner has received $190,750 from a Soros-connected super PAC.
Missouri AG Schmitt Gardner criticized her for failing to prosecute real crimes like rioting and looting that has happened during the George Floyd protests in St. Louis.
“In a stunning development, our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner,” said Schmitt in a tweet.
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