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Missouri couple who pointed guns at protesters may have law licenses revoked




  • In US
  • 2021-09-21 15:41:18Z
  • By The Guardian
 

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a Missouri couple who became famous for pointing guns at protesters marching for racial justice last summer, could have their law licenses revoked.

According to court documents first reported by Missouri radio station KCUR-FM, the Missouri chief disciplinary counsel, Alan Pratzel, asked the state supreme court to indefinitely suspend the licenses of the two personal injury lawyers.

Pratzel's office investigates ethical complaints against lawyers in Missouri.

In June 2020, widely circulated video showed the McCloskeys standing in front of their home as demonstrators protested the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Mark McCloskey was pointing an AR-15 style rifle. His wife held a semiautomatic pistol.

Protesters were walking through the gated community on their way to the house of the then mayor of St Louis, Lyda Krewson. The McCloskeys said marchers broke through an iron gate and were threatening them. Organizers maintained that the protest was peaceful.

Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty 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 $2,000.

Following their guilty pleas, Mark McCloskey defended his actions.

"I'd do it again," he said. "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."

The couple achieved celebrity on the political right. In July, they were pardoned by Mike Parson, the Republican governor of Missouri. In August, they appeared at the Republican National Convention.

Mark McCloskey is now running for the Republican nomination to contest a US Senate seat next year. Campaign ads use images of the confrontation with protesters.

In court filings, Pratzel noted the couple's guilty pleas stemming from their actions last June, which he said demonstrated "indifference to public safety" and "moral turpitude", justifying disciplinary action.

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