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St. Louis Couple Who Waved Guns At BLM Protesters Face Suspension Of Their Law Licenses

mccloskeys.jfif
Bill Greenblatt
/
UPI
Mark and Patricia McCloskey point guns at protesters in front of their Central West End home on June 28, 2020.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey made national headlines in June 2020 when they confronted a group of mostly Black protesters who entered their gated community en route to demonstrate in front of the nearby home of a former St. Louis mayor.

Missouri’s chief disciplinary counsel is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to suspend the law licenses of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in St. Louis last year.

In filings with the court, the chief disciplinary counsel, Alan D. Pratzel, cited the couple’s guilty pleas to misdemeanors stemming from the incident.

Mark McCloskey, who is running for the U.S. Senate, pleaded guilty on June 17 to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was ordered to pay a fine of $750. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty on the same date to misdemeanor harassment and was ordered to pay a fine of $2,000.

Pratzel said both crimes showed “indifference to public safety” and involved “moral turpitude,” warranting discipline of the pair.

Pratzel cited a host of other Missouri cases in which lawyers were disciplined for crimes involving moral turpitude. He recommended that the Supreme Court indefinitely suspend the McCloskeys’ licenses with no leave to reapply for reinstatement for six months.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pardoned both McCloskeys on July 30. But in his motion, Pratzel said that while a pardon erases a person’s conviction, “the person’s guilt remains.”

The McCloskeys did not respond to a request for comment.

Both McCloskeys were admitted to the Missouri bar in 1986. The couple practice together as the McCloskey Law Center and focus on personal injury, medical malpractice and defective products cases.

The McCloskeys drew national headlines when they confronted a group of mostly Black protesters who had entered their gated community en route to demonstrate in front of the nearby home of a former St. Louis mayor in June 2020.

Even after pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge, Mark McCloskey was unrepentant. As Pratzel noted in his motion, McCloskey publicly declared, “The prosecutor dropped every charge except for alleging that I purposely placed other people in imminent risk of physical injury; right, and I sure as heck did. That’s what the guns were there for and I’d do it again any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to place them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”

Mark McCloskey is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt. At least four other candidates are vying for the nomination: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt; former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid allegations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations; and U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long.

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