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How do you plead guilty and still get a pardon? Be rich, white, and live in Missouri

So lemme get this straight. You can point guns at peaceful protesters who are walking by your house on their way to another place, plead guilty to fourth-degree assault and second-degree harassment, face fines of up to a $2,750, agree to give up your guns ‘cause you know you’re wrong, and still get out of it ‘cause you’re rich, and the governor decides to give you a pardon.

 

That’s what happened with Mike and Patricia McCloskey, who drew national attention after viral video showed the couple outside their mansion and pointing guns at protesters, who were walking on a private street toward the home of the St. Louis mayor.

 

But not to worry. Black Lives Matter protesters apparently don’t have the same constitutional right to peacefully protest as others, so Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson decided to give the McCloskeys a pardon. And why not? As Mark McCloskey told CNN last July, he was “in imminent fear the (protesters) would run him over and kill him.”

 

Which of course is nowhere near the truth, and anyone who saw the video knows it.

 

The more accurate version is in court documents, which say that Mark McCloskey “purposely placed at least one person in apprehension of immediate physical injury” by waving a semi-automatic rifle in the direction of the crowd.

 

To be clear, what the McCloskeys did was dangerous, but the governor liked it, so he hooked them up with a pardon. Others liked it, too, so Mark McCloskey parlayed his popularity into a bid for the US Senate, and his campaign website has pictures of him holding a long rifle outside his mansion.

 

Welcome to life in Missouri, where poor unarmed Black folk like Michael Brown get gunned down by police, but rich white guys like Mark McCloskey plead guilty, get pardoned, and then get to run for Senate. There’s no justice in that, and that’s why there can be no peace.
Photo: A couple draws guns at protesters in St. Louis, Missouri By. Lawrence Bryant

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