Summer 2020  was one for the record books as tensions escalated surrounding racial issues as if it was the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. After the killing George Floyd, it created an outburst of people coming out of the ordered quarantine to stay home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the November election loomed, anger and hate polarized America as tension built around beliefs regarding race and justice.

One of the most infamous videos to come out of that Summer was of St. Louis lawyer couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey. The pair were visibly armed with an assault rifle and handgun, as they approached Black Lives Matters protestors on their way to the Mayor’s house, and threatened them. The video and photos of the incident that followed evoked strong reactions from both sides of the racial debate, though it seems Missouri Governor Mike Parson sympathized with the couple this week, in pardoning them for the related misdemeanors they ended up pleading guilty to.

“Today we are incredibly thankful that Governor Mike Parson righted this wrong and granted us pardons,” Mark McCloskey said as he left the courthouse. He had plead guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault with a $750 fine and Patricia McCloskey plead guilty to misdemeanor harassment with a fine of $2000. The coupe and their legal team claim that the protestors were intent on harming the couple and their home, though Missouri prosecutor Richard Callahan reported that his investigation found the protestors were nothing but peaceful.

Still, McCloskey has no doubt he would act the same way again if the situation arose. “Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family,” McCloskey said on the courthouse steps.

The couple received widespread support from republicans and guns rights activists across the country, including former President Donald Trump. They spoke at the Republican National Convention later that year to defend their actions. Last June, their lawyer told the NY Post that they considered themselves “longtime civil rights activists” despite their violent encounter with protestors.