Husband and wife Mark and Patricia McCloskey went viral after video of them pointing an AR-15 and pistol at Black Lives Matter protesters near their St. Louis home hit social media. Dubbed Karen and Ken by Black Twitter, the couple was indicted last week by a grand jury. However, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is already promising to pardon the couple and there hasn’t even been a trial.
According to The Washington Times, Parson, a former county sheriff, said he “most certainly would” pardon the McCloskeys. The editorial board at The Kansas City Star slammed Parson’s comment, writing, “That’s a stunning statement from a governor who has been unwilling to act on a crushing backlog of petitions for clemency and pardons and has kept thousands of people behind bars and in legal limbo.”
The outlet also added, “Regardless of Parson’s views, he should not put his thumb on the scale before the case goes to trial. By signaling now that he plans to pardon the McCloskeys, he’s short-circuiting the legal process, sending the message to attorneys, jurors, the judge and anyone else involved that their work — and any new facts that emerge — won’t matter because he’s decided to undo any outcome he doesn’t like.”
According to NBC affiliate KSDK, the McCloskeys were indicted for exhibiting a weapon and tampering with evidence.
It’s not known why they were charged with tampering with evidence.
On June 28, the McCloskeys were captured on video brandishing their guns outside their mansion. The video shows them aiming their firearms at Black Lives Matter demonstrators who were walking through their neighborhood.
Mark McCloskey defended his actions in the viral video, claiming he felt threatened by the protesters.
"I was a person scared for my life, protecting my wife, my home, my health, my livelihood. I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate," he told CNN at the time.
In July, the couple was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a class E felony. Donald Trump had previously defended the McCloskeys actions, and according to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the President "said it is absolutely absurd, what is happening to the McCloskeys." They were also invited to speak at the Republican National Convention.
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