Court asked to suspend gun-wielding Missouri couple's law license
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri official is asking the state Supreme Court to suspend the law licenses of a St. Louis couple who gained national attention last year when they waved guns at racial injustice protesters outside their home.
Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel, in a court filing reported by KCUR-FM, cited Mark and Patricia McCloskey's guilty pleas to misdemeanors stemming from the June 2020 encounter. Pratzel’s office is responsible for investigating ethical complaints against Missouri lawyers.
Mark McCloskey, who is among several Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in 2022, pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was ordered to pay a $750 fine. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pardoned them on July 30. Pratzel’s motion said that while a pardon erases a person’s conviction, "the person’s guilt remains."
FILE - Armed homeowners Mark T. and Patricia N. McCloskey stand in front their house as they confront protesters on June 28, 2020.
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An attorney for the McCloskeys declined to comment on Monday.
Pratzel said both crimes showed "indifference to public safety" and involved "moral turpitude," warranting discipline. He recommended that the Supreme Court indefinitely suspend the McCloskeys’ licenses.
The June 28, 2020, protests followed George Floyd’s death under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee. The McCloskeys said the protesters broke through an iron gate onto their private street and were threatening, though protest organizers said the march was peaceful.
Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to the indictment. Cellphone video captured the confrontation. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.
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Even after their guilty pleas, Mark McCloskey was unapologetic.
"I’d do it again," Mark McCloskey said immediately after the hearing. "Anytime the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family."