Charlotte, NC — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has been dismissed as the prosecutor in the case against Mark and Patricia McCloskey. The judge disqualified Gardner and her office from a gun case against Mark McCloskey, who with his wife pointed firearms at protesters outside their Central West End home in June, according to a source familiar with the case.
“Circuit Judge Thom Clark II has order Gardner off the case against McCloskey, saying her campaign’s two fundraising emails sent before and after she charged McCloskey and his wife Patricia McCloskey with felony gun crimes in July raised the appearance that she started a prosecution for political gain.” That is behavior that typically doesn’t occur unless the case is over.
The McCloskey’s were also charged with tampering with physical evidence, a felony. That tampering charge stems from a pistol, seen in Patricia McCloskey’s hands, which was turned over to police days after the incident. The indictments say the couple altered it, saying doing so “impaired and obstructed the prosecution.”
Gardner is known for her radical stances under the guise of “reforms.” Back in January, she filed a lawsuit claiming the City of St. Louis, a special prosecutor, the police union and others were involved in a “racially motivated conspiracy” to remove her from office. She alleged civil rights violations citing the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. Unsurprisingly, a federal judge threw the case out.
Fortunately for the McCloskeys, she lost her bid to prosecute them, despite battling since July to maintain control of the prosecution.
Gardner’s lawyers had pushed back on the McCloskeys’ attempt to remove Gardner, saying she has the right to defend against attacks from Republican political foes from Missouri and elsewhere. The campaign emails, her lawyers have said, contained only generic references to the McCloskeys without mentioning them by name, made no promises to prosecute them in exchange for votes and amounted to constitutionally protected ‘campaign speech.’
Apparently, the Circuit Court Judge did not see it this way. A presiding Judge in the McCloskeys district will appoint a special prosecutor to try the case.
“The judge’s order will deal a political blow to Gardner, whose office has waged numerous legal challenges to defend her practices and reform-minded agenda during her first term.
“The order will direct the 22nd Circuit’s presiding judge to appoint a special prosecutor in the case. Patricia McCloskey’s case is assigned to Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer, who will replace Circuit Judge Rex Burlison as the circuit’s presiding judge next year.”
The video of the McCloskeys’ confrontation with the BLM protestors went viral, and they have since taken on the mantle of folk heroes. Gardner painted them as anything but. In fact, Gardner looked to make them an example of White Supremacy in their “attack” on “peaceful” BLM protests. This rogue attorney claimed the McCloskey’s actions created the risk of bloodshed, even though Missouri law allows the use of force—even if it is lethal—in defense of life and property.
The McCloskeys have received the support of President Donald Trump and were invited to speak during the Republican National Convention. Missouri’s Republican Governor Michael Parsons has vowed to pardon the couple should they be convicted on the weapons charges.
Unfortunately, we have not see the last of this spurious, biased, and malcontent office and attorney won re-election by a wide margin. Gardner was supported by socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. She also received support from Congressional candidate and now newest Squad member Cori Bush. Gardner won re-election back in November.
Last night was full of incredible victories in our movement for a more progressive America.
In St. Louis, @votegardner2020’s re-election means she will continue to fight to hold police accountable and end mass incarceration. pic.twitter.com/x2EzyU7c6F
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 5, 2020
While she may no longer be attached to the McCloskey’s case, this thorn in the side of anyone with an R beside there name will still be a problem to deal with for a few more years to come.
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