Self-Defense: Omaha bar owner who killed rioter will not be charged

Self-Defense: Omaha bar owner who killed rioter will not be charged

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The riots following the death of George Floyd culminated in the city of Omaha, Nebraska with the death of James Scurlock, a 22-year-old black male. His death followed an altercation with a bar owner on the street outside the bar. The man who shot James Scurlock is Jake Gardner, a white male who happens to support President Trump. His name is not used by officials as he has not been charged. This was verified by various media outlets.

Naturally, during this unrest this killing achieved notoriety amounting a nationally trending hashtag on Twitter, #JusticeForJamesScurlock. Moreover, the incident is being treated as an instance of white on black racism and the death of James Scurlock is being equated to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Similarly, the incident is on video. In sharp contrast, the death of James Scurlock does not have crossover appeal where most on the right outside of Candace Owens were quick to condemn the Minneapolis Police Department where four officers participated, in some capacity, in George Floyd’s death. But unlike the officer primarily culpable in Floyd’s death, the man who shot James Scurlock will walk.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had the duty to announce that his office would not be bringing charges against Gardner. In his press conference he showed the pertinent videos that captured the incident. He first shows a video in the middle of the incident that contained audio. The audio shows Gardner asking who hit his father.

It is after this confrontation that Scurlock is killed. Kleine moves on to show the video of the incident captured on the bar’s camera. He explains the scenery. The street signs are missing because they were ripped from the street to bash windows, including Gardner’s. Kliene shows the video of the rioters being asked to leave and one of them sends Gardner’s father flying by lowering his shoulder into him.

After the confrontation between Gardner and and the rioters, the rioters begin to mob around Gardner causing him to walk backwards away from them. At one point, it was made known to the rioters that Gardner was armed. Despite this, Gardner was attacked. Kleine explains:

We get to there and two people tackle him, the owner, and push him down in the water. There, he fires one shot, fires another shot and it happens very quickly. We’ll show you this again. Top of him right here. Then he fires the shot kind of over the back of his head at Mr. Scurlock, and he hits him in the clavicle… You want to see that part again from the time [Gardner] was tackled? Okay. He backs to the edge of where the construction equipment is and that’s when he is tackled and knocked down. There’s a shot fired there and another shot, and that gets the people off him, and James Scurlock [then] dives on top of [Gardner]. And this goes on for second, for some time period, and then he fires a shot. And that’s the shot that killed James Scurlock. Like I said, it was one gunshot was the cause of death of Mr. Scurlock.


Kleine’s walk-through of the video clearly demonstrates that Gardner acted in self defense in spite of Nebraska’s restrictive laws that necessitate that a person need to retreat and deadly force cannot be used to defend property.

This announcement was not well-received by the leftist media who proceeded to attack Jake Gardner as a white supremacist Trump supporter who was just itching to shoot a black person. They also cite that his CCP was expired; therefore questioning the legality of him having a gun in the first place.

At the same time, Scurlock and the other rioters created the situation that self-defense became legal in Nebraska. And had he not gone with a gun to defend his business, it is reasonable to assume at a minimum he would have been critically injured from this incident had he defended his business at all. It is disrespectful to George Floyd to compare him with James Scurlock. The death of James Scurlock was clearly justified as he was the aggressor. He attacked a man who had already fired two shots in self defense.

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