Missouri Representative Cori Bush has expressed her outrage at the pardons granted to a couple who pointed their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey were caught on camera wielding weapons as racial justice protesters marched in their neighbourhood last year. Video footage of them standing outside their home brandishing an AR-15 rifle and a handgun as protesters passed by went viral.
Ms Bush, who was among the marchers that day, told CNN the pardons of the St Louis couple by Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson were “absolutely unbelievable”.
“Mark McCloskey is an absolute liar,” said the congresswoman. "He has spat on my name. And because of that, his day will come. You will not be successful in all that you’re trying to do, when you are hurting the very people that are out trying to save lives … He can try it, but I will not stand by and allow him or our governor to hurt the very people that are doing the work that they should be doing.”
The couple are wealthy lawyers who live in a mansion on a private street in St Louis. Their attorney said the demonstrators broke down a gate to get onto the private street and threatened them, but prosecutors determined the demonstrators acted peacefully.
Ms Bush described the pair’s actions as “totally reckless”.
The couple had initially pleaded guilty to misdemeanours in connection with the incident and were ordered to pay fines.
Speaking about the pardons, Mr McCloskey told Fox News “It’s a correction of something that should have never happened in the first place.”
In May, Mr McCloskey announced he was running as a Republican for the US Senate. He’s remained unrepentant about the incident, and in one of his campaign ads, promised that given the chance he would do the same thing “again and again and again”.