The weaponization of race and politics has real-world consequences. In this instance, a man who used lethal force against an attacker met a tragic end after being made an example of by calls for ‘justice’.
There is a reason we have Second Amendment rights. It is for self-defense.
The Macro version of defense is for the defense against a rising tyranny. In the Micro version, it is for the defense against a physical threat against one’s life.
Jake Gardner, it was originally ruled, had acted in his own defense when shooting an attacker.
A handful of grainy and graphic videos led Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine to conclude that a white bar owner acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a 22-year-old black Omaha man Saturday night.
As a result, Jake Gardner, owner of the side-by-side Gatsby and Hive bars downtown, will not face charges in the death of James Scurlock.
A surveillance video from Gardner’s bars, played Monday at a press conference, shows a group of young people, including Scurlock, approaching Gardner.
Walking backward, Gardner lifts his shirt to show a handgun, then pulls it to his side and continues backing up. Two people from Scurlock’s group — a man and a woman — tackle Gardner, who ends up on his back in a puddle in the street.
He fires twice into the air — he characterized them as warning shots in an interview with Omaha police. The two people run away from him.
Four seconds after that, Scurlock rushes from the sidewalk and dives on Gardner. Kleine said Scurlock was on Gardner’s back and had his arm around the bar owner’s neck. Gardner could be heard on another bystander’s video hollering, “Get off me, get off me.”
His right arm pinned, Kleine said, Gardner switched the gun to his left hand and fired over his shoulder. The bullet hit Scurlock in the shoulder-neck area, killing him.
…“There was a consensus that the actions of the shooter were justified,” he said. “We certainly wish that none of this would have happened. It’s a senseless death.”
No one in the room disagreed with the decision to not file charges, Kleine said.–OmahaWorldHerald
A bar owner named #JakeGardner is facing 95 years in prison for shooting a rioter who choked him for 18 seconds before he fired his weapon
I have researched the story, and it’s tough, but the one thing in positive about is you should never lose the right to save your own life!
— Libertarian-In-Chief (@ToddHagopian) September 16, 2020
The shooting was May 30th, when the George Floyd protests were just heating up. The headline was June 1.
Critics were upset that the prosecutor came back so quickly with an assessment that it was self-defense, despite the fact that the events above certainly seemed to fit that description.
A grand jury, on the other hand, saw it differently.
As of reporting on September 18:
A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Jake Gardner, owner of The Hive bar in Omaha, on charges of manslaughter, attempted first-degree assault, making terroristic threats and weapon use over the May 30 shooting of James Scurlock, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
…The grand jury reviewed additional evidence that Kleine did not have, which included messages from Gardner’s phone and Facebook messenger account, special prosecutor Frederick Franklin said, according to the World-Herald. The grand jury also reviewed video inside The Hive, which “was consistent with there being an intentional killing,” Franklin said, according to the Post.– DailyCaller
The special prosecutor then went on to affirm the presumption of Jake Gardner’s innocence. But that changed nothing. For reasons that cannot be precisely known, but seem at least superficially obvious, Jake Gardner did step into the national spotlight in a case that would have almost certainly portrayed him (whether it was true of him or not) as a racial bigot who had murdered a black man.
Jake Gardner — awaiting arrest after a grand jury in Omaha indicted him last week — shot himself outside a medical clinic in suburban Portland, Oregon, two law enforcement officials told The World-Herald. Police in Hillsboro, Oregon, found the 38-year-old former Marine dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 12:20 p.m.
…Sunday, [his attorneys] Dornan and Monaghan blamed Gardner’s apparent suicide on a cocktail of behavioral health problems stemming from head trauma he experienced during military service; the belief that people were out to kill him; and an “incessant rush to judgment” by social media jockeys.
In their first public comments since the May 30 shooting, the Omaha attorneys, both former prosecutors, revealed that their client had suffered two traumatic brain injuries while serving two tours in Iraq, injuries that netted him Social Security disability payments. They said the bar owner, who had posted on Facebook the weekend of May 30 that he was going downtown to “pull a military-style firewatch,” felt like he was in a warlike environment during the chaos that engulfed downtown Omaha that night. —OmahaWorldHerald
Why did he do it?
This may have played a part:
However, while Scurlock’s GoFundMe campaigns went on to raise over $275,000, the platform shut down Gardner’s campaigns after complaints from activists, cutting his ability to fundraise for his legal defense. —ReclaimTheNet
Activists shut down the fundraising tool he would have used to pay for his legal defence. A legal defense for having shot a man who was seen — on film — to have attacked him.
Now we’ll probably never know the full story of what happened.
Or if an innocent man, boxed in between two unworkable choices, took matters into his own hands.
If anyone thinks this is how justice is ‘supposed’ to work, the country’s in worse shape than we thought.