JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – President Trump called Gov. Mike Parson before he walked out to give his nearly daily coronavirus press conference to talk about a situation in St. Louis. He told the governor that he will do everything in his power in the McCloskey case.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey were seen pointing firearms at protesters as they walked past their Central West End home the night of June 28. The protesters were on their way to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home in response to Krewson reading the names and addresses of people calling for the police to be defunded.
“That couple had every right to protect their property. They had the ability to do that as private citizens, like everyone else. 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,” Gov. Parson said today.
The lawyer for the McCloskeys, Al Watkins, transferred the couple’s handgun to police in front of his office on Forsyth Boulevard Saturday afternoon. Authorities wanted the gun in their possession to be sure that it is not operable.
After the incident, Watkins took possession of the gun to be used as evidence in court. Watkins said he did this in case charges were to be filed.
“In Missouri is very difficult to anything to someone, to remove an elected official from office. It is one of the things we need to address in future sessions. I just got off the phone with the president before I walked out here today. He understands the situation in Missouri. He 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 attack law-abiding citizens,” said Gov. Parson.
President Trump retweeted a video on June 29 of the McCloskeys defending their home. Monday afternoon he tweeted, “Law and order.” This same message was a part of one of the governor’s posts to Facebook today.
“The conversation I had with the president said that he would do everything within his power to help with this situation. He would be taking action to do that. I am thankful he is getting involved in this situation. I am thankful that he is going to stand up for people and their legal rights,” said Gov. Parson.
Trump defended the McCloskeys during an interview with a news outlet called Townhall at the White House Tuesday Tuesday.
“They were going to be beat up badly, and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down like they tried to burn down churches,” the president said.
“Tomorrow we will be in a special session. We will be talking about violent crime and the changes that need to be made. Things have to change in this state. If people are going to take an oath, like I did as a Sheriff. You need to serve justice equally for all and you need to abide by the laws of the constitution,” said Gov. Parson.
A new law in Missouri modifies several criminal justice policies and could result in longer prison sentences. Gov. Mike Parson is calling this new law a big step towards safety and justice.
The governor and the bill’s sponsor said Senate Bill 600 addresses violent crime across the state. Lawmakers against the measure said the bill could have been better written and will not make cities or the state safer.
Parson signed the omnibus crime bill last week.
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner
Today, both the Governor and Donald Trump came after me for doing my job and investigating a case. While they continue to play politics with the handling of this matter, spreading misinformation and distorting the truth, I refuse to do so. As I always do, I am reviewing all the available facts and the law and will apply them equally, regardless of the people involved.
It is unbelievable the Governor of the state of Missouri would seek advice from one of the most divisive leaders in our generation to overpower the discretion of a locally elected prosecutor. It is also incredible that at a time when our nation is dealing with a rapidly spreading deadly virus and our State reported a record number of new infections, they are launching these dog-whistle attacks against me. They should be focused on their jobs, and I’ll focus on mine.