Mark and Patricia McCloskey went viral in late June after they stood outside their home with guns while Black Lives Matter protesters came through their neighborhood.
Soon after pictures and videos of the Missouri couple went viral, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat, launched an investigation into the couple because they dared to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Now, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley is asking Attorney General Bill Barr to open an investigation into the prosecution of the McCloskeys.
A report from the New York Post quoted St. Louis Prosecutor Kimberly Gardner saying, “We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.” Gardner said her office was “currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”
Hawley is now asking Barr to investigate Gardner’s investigation into the McCloskeys.
Hawley described Gardner’s investigation as “an unacceptable abuse of power,” claiming it poses a “threat to the Second Amendment.”
Hawley added, “There is no question under Missouri law that the McCloskeys had the right to own and use their firearms to protect themselves from threatened violence, and that any criminal prosecution for these actions is legally unsound. The only possible motivation for the investigation, then, is a politically motivated attempt to punish this family for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
President Donald Trump may get involved, too.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson has revealed that President Trump has not only asked him about the case, but the president has also suggested he may personally get involved to help the McCloskey family.
While speaking to reporters, Parson said Trump told him “he would do everything he could within his powers to help with this situation.”
He later said he was “thankful that [Trump’s] going to stand up for people and their legal rights.”
Parson said that Trump “understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens.”
“I think the president and the attorney general of the United States are going to take a look at it,” Parson said. “The president doesn’t like what he’s seeing and the way these people are being treated. I know the attorney general was represented on that phone call today, so I think you’ll see some sort of actions. I think they’re going to look into things.”
Parson, a former law enforcement officer, said the McCloskeys were exercising their rights under the doctrine to protect their property when protesters came through their neighborhood.
The governor also took aim at the circuit attorney’s office for considering whether the McCloskeys should be indicted.
“What they should not go through is a prosecutor attempting to take their constitutional rights away by filing charges against them for protecting their property,” he said.