Jake Gardner, a white bar owner in Omaha, NE indicted for the shooting death in June of James Scurlock, a Black protester, has reportedly committed suicide:
In a stunning development, Jake Gardner — the white bar owner indicted in the killing of a 22-year-old Black man during protests in downtown Omaha — has been found dead near Portland, Oregon. https://t.co/I8lD3snNYu
— Omaha World-Herald (@OWHnews) September 20, 2020
Gardner had just been indicted by a grand jury impaneled by a special prosecutor looking into the case:
The White Bar Owner Who Killed Black Lives Matter Protester James Scurlock Has Been Charged https://t.co/rW8yZftTAT
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) September 16, 2020
A county attorney had earlier refused to charge Gardner:
The County Attorney told reporters that after viewing videos of the incident with police officials and homicide detectives, he decided not to charge Jake Gardner in Saturday night’s death of James Scurlock. https://t.co/0IPTcawfQ7
— KEYT NewsChannel 3 (@KEYTNC3) June 3, 2020
And video appeared to show that Gardner was acting in self defense:
NPR on bar owner Jake Gardner’s shooting of BLM protester James Scurlock:
“Eyewitness video that circulated on social media after the shooting… shows Gardner being pinned down on the ground apparently by Scurlock at one point during their altercation.”https://t.co/n9pq1kHS9j
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 20, 2020
Gardner’s concealed carry permit was expired at the time of the shooting, which is a misdemeanor:
Douglas County Attorney Kleine said that Jake Gardner previously had a concealed carry permit but that it had expired. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a misdemeanor, but the law allows for some situations where having a concealed wea… https://t.co/G7ZnMGuojK
— Omaha World-Herald (@OWHnews) June 2, 2020
We don’t know yet what information the grand jury saw that led to the indictment:
Frederick Franklin will be the special prosecutor in the grand jury case into the shooting death of James Scurlock.
Grand juries are conducted in secret.
Franklin says if they decide not to indict Jake Gardner, he will make a written report public.
— Jennifer Griswold (@griswoldkmtv) June 10, 2020
But media reports at the time said there were witnesses that claimed Scurlock was attempting to disarm Gardner after Gardner fired warning shots into the air:
This afternoon, the Douglas County Attorney announced there would be NO charges against Jake Gardner in Scurlock’s death, despite witness statements that Scurlock was actively trying to disarm Gardner after Gardner fired warning shots into the air in a crowd of people. https://t.co/2xQX2wvMvc
— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) June 1, 2020