The couple had been charged with weapon abuse but had been adopted as a folk hero by the Republican Party.
An American couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching outside their mansion in Missouri last year have been pardoned of misdemeanor convictions by the state governor.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey stood barefoot on their St Louis property and brandished guns as peaceful protesters marched on June 28, 2020.
The protest was part of a larger racial justice movement that swept across the United States following the murder of several blacks by police, including George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
The images of the armed couple McCloskey, who were later adopted as popular heroes by the Republican Party, have come to symbolize the increased polarization in the United States amid a grand calculation of racial justice.
Both were originally charged with misuse of a weapon, pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault for him and misdemeanor harassment last month, and were fined $ 750. $ and $ 2,000, respectively.
On Tuesday, the office of Republican Governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, announced that the couple had been pardoned, a move Parson had been promising for last year.
A special prosecutor who had been appointed for the McCloskeys case had previously determined that there was no evidence that either had been threatened by protesters on their street.
St. Louis District Attorney Kimberly Gardner said: “It is illegal to brandish weapons in a threatening manner against those participating in a non-violent protest.”
The McCloskeys became cultural lightning rods in the aftermath and ahead of the 2020 presidential election. They were featured at the Republican National Convention as the party gathered around a message that American cities were overrun by violent criminals.
“Make no mistake about it: No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in radical Democrat America,” Patricia McCloskey said in a video released at the August 2020 event, in which the then President Donald Trump was officially named the Republican Presidential Candidate.
In May, Mark McCloskey announced he was running for one of Missouri’s seats in the US Senate.
In a campaign video, he highlighted the incident while exaggerating the threat the couple faced.
“When the angry mob came to destroy my house and kill my family, I took a stand against them,” he said. “I will never back down. “