Representative Cori Bush (D., Mo.) on Wednesday said it is “absolutely unbelievable” that the Missouri governor pardoned Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey, the armed St. Louis couple who confronted Black Lives Matter protesters outside their mansion last year.
One day after Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, announced he had pardoned the couple, Bush called Mark McCloskey “an absolute liar” during an appearance on CNN.
“He has spat on my name,” said Bush, who was among the marchers in the McCloskeys’ neighborhood. “And because of that, his day will come. You will not be successful in all that you’re trying to do, when you are hurting the very people that are out trying to save lives … He can try it, but I will not stand by and allow him or our governor to hurt the very people that are doing the work that they should be doing.”
As Bush continued to rant about McCloskey, she looked off-camera to collect herself as she became emotional. Host Brianna Keilar thanked the “Squad” member for how “very strongly” she felt.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750, while Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000.
As the charges were misdemeanors, the couple did not face the possibility of losing their law licenses or their rights to own firearms. However, they had previously agreed to forfeit the weapons they brandished as hundreds of protesters, who were trespassing in their gated community, stood outside their home last June yelling threats at them.
Mark McCloskey stood on the lawn of their home screaming and pointing a semiautomatic rifle at protesters. His wife then joined him with a semiautomatic handgun, yelling at protesters to “go” and pointing it at them. No shots were fired.
He told Fox News the pardons were “a correction of something that should have never happened in the first place.”
Many have defended the McCloskeys, saying they were legally protecting their $1.15 million house.
Nine protesters were issued citations for trespassing, though prosecutors declined to pursue further action. The McCloskeys’ attorney said the protestors broke down a gate to reach the private street where they threatened the couple.
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan said his investigation found that the protesters were peaceful.
“There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave,” Callahan said in a statement after the McCloskeys pleaded guilty in June.