US couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters plead guilty

·2 min read
Mark McCloskey and wife Patricia were filmed standing outside their home holding guns at Black Lives Matter protesters (Daniel Shular via Eurovision/AFP)
Mark McCloskey and wife Patricia were filmed standing outside their home holding guns at Black Lives Matter protesters (Daniel Shular via Eurovision/AFP)

A US couple who were caught on camera waving guns at social justice protesters outside their mansion last summer have pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey made national news when they wielded their weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their mansion in St Louis, Missouri in June 2020.

As part of their plea, the pro-Trump couple, who are both lawyers, agreed to give up the guns used during the high-profile incident.

Mr McCloskey, 63, pleaded guilty to misdemeanour fourth-degree assault and was fined $750 (£538).

His wife, 61, pleaded guilty to misdemeanour harassment and was fined $2,000.

During the hearing on Thursday, Judge David Mason asked Mr McCloskey if he acknowledged that his actions put people in danger.

Patricia McCloskey, left, and her husband Mark McCloskey outside court on Thursday (AP)
Patricia McCloskey, left, and her husband Mark McCloskey outside court on Thursday (AP)

Mr McCloskey, who is now running to be a Republican candidate for Missouri’s US Senate seat, said “I’d do it again,” outside the St Louis courthouse.

“Any time 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,” he said.

The couple can continue to own guns and will not lose their law licences as the charges were only misdemeanours.

Prosecutor Richard Callahan welcomed the guilty pleas.

“This particular resolution of these two cases represents my best judgment of an appropriate and fair disposition for the parties involved as well as the public good,” he said.

He added that the protesters on that day “were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house. There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realised they had ventured onto a private enclave.”

The protest came weeks after the murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota.

His death sparked a wave of demonstrations worldwide, with protesters demanding racial equality and an end to police brutality.

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