The married couple that are attorneys in St. Louis, Missouri, who gained national attention flashing their guns as a crowd of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors who illegally broke down a gate and entered their private neighborhood, had their law licenses put on a year-long probation by the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The Republican couple made headlines in June of 2020 when they both stood armed in front of their home, as the BLM demonstrators walked by their house on their way to protest at the house of Democratic St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who lived in the same gated community as the McCloskeys.
The court suspended Mark and Patricia McCloskeys’ law licenses but delayed the suspension and put the two on probation for a year. The order means the couple can still practice, but the suspension will take effect if they violate their probation by breaking more laws.
A video taken at the incident went viral, and the McCloskeys were subsequently charged with two felonies each; one charge of unlawful use of a weapon and one charge of tampering with physical evidence. They both pled guilty in July, Mark to fourth-degree assault and Patricia to second-degree harassment, both misdemeanors. Mark McCloskey was ordered to pay a $750 fine while Patricia was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. Republican Governor Mike Parson pardoned both of them in August.
In September, the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Chief Disciplinary Officer said, “The pardon has no impact on any possible professional consequences, which would be examined as a separate matter.
But the order issued Tuesday by Missouri Chief Justice Paul Wilson said that the couple “committed a misdemeanor offense involving moral turpitude.” Under Missouri law, that could have subjected the McCloskeys to legal discipline.
Can someone explain how the Missouri Supreme Court Disciplinary officer thinks they can override a gubernatorial pardon?
Wilson said that the court considered the McCloskeys’ guilty pleas, previous court decisions, American Bar Association standards, and aggravating and mitigating circumstances before deciding to suspend the McCloskeys’ Licenses “indefinitely.” But Wilson simultaneously stayed that suspension and placed the McCloskeys on one year of probation.
Mark McCloskey said Tuesday that he was disappointed by the ruling but happy the court chose to put the couple on probation, rather than suspend their licenses.
Since being propelled into the national spotlight, the McCloskeys have become aligned with right-wing politics. Mark has launched a run for the U.S. Senate as a “life-long Republican” and has vowed that when it came to waving the guns at protestors who, by all accounts, were unarmed, he would “do the same thing again.”
After the pair received national attention from the confrontation, which included former President Donald Trump, Missouri Governor Mike Parsons and other Republican conservative leaders, Mark McClosky noted that he doesn’t expect the probation to affect his Senate campaign.
Mark McCloskey said, “The folks that support me know what I did, why I did it and support me for having done it.”