JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday placed a St. Louis couple who gained national attention for waving guns at racial injustice protesters on probation as attorneys.
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 any more laws.
In a previous court filing seeking the suspension, Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel cited the McCloskey’s guilty pleas to misdemeanors stemming from the June 2020 encounter with protesters. Pratzel’s office is responsible for investigating ethical complaints against Missouri lawyers.
The McCloskeys have said they felt threatened by the protesters who walked onto their private street during global protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mark McCloskey emerged from his home with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semi-automatic pistol.
Mark McCloskey, who is among several Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was ordered to pay a $750 fine. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson pardoned them last year. Pratzel’s motion said that while a pardon erases a person’s conviction, “the person’s guilt remains.”
The judges agreed, writing that the couple “committed a misdemeanor offense involving moral turpitude” and should be disciplined.
Mark McCloskey didn't immediately comment on the ruling to The Associated Press on Tuesday.