Nebraska bar owner James Scurlock Jake Gardner George Floyd protests

A Nebraska bar owner who shot dead a man protesting the death of George Floyd will not face charges, prosecutors have announced. The scene turned deadly Saturday night when the bar owner was rushed by protesters and ended up on his back in a tussle which costed James Scurlock his life.

Nebraska Bar Owner Won’t Be Charged In Protester James Scurlock’s Death

After studying surveillance footage, prosecutors found that Jake Gardner, the owner of The Hive bar in Omaha, shot James Scurlock in self defense.

Gardner found his bar at the mercy of unruly protesters late Saturday. He flashed a handgun in his waistband to encourage the crowd to move on. But instead, the bar owned was rushed and tackled by a pair of protesters which landed him on his back.

According to The Omaha World Herald, Gardner then fired two warning shots, causing the two protesters to get up and run away from him.

Just seconds later, 22-year-old James Scurlock can be seen running into the bar and diving on Gardner, putting his arm around the bar owner’s neck. In a video captured by another bystander, Gardner can be heard pleading “get off me, get off me!” 

Fearing his life was in danger, Gardner opened fire and hit Scurlock in the shoulder/neck area, killing him. 

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Prosecutors Explain Decision Not To Charge Jake Gardner

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said that he and Chief Deputy Brenda Beadle spent Sunday watching various pieces of video footage and talking to witnesses along “with all of the homicide detectives.”

“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.”

Kleine added that nobody in the room disagreed with the decision not to file charges against Gardner. 

“Mr. Gardner, as we know now, has said I did what I did to defend myself and we find that we can’t disprove that from the evidence that we have,” Kleine told KMTV News.

James Scurlock’s Family Calls For Investigation To Be Carried Out ‘Peacefully’

James Scurlock Sr., the father of the deceased young man, is now calling for a full investigation into his son’s death.

However, the grief-stricken father made sure to add that he wants this investigation to be done peacefully. 

“Once again I ask that we investigate this and I ask my people to stand by me strong but do it peacefully,” he said. 

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Racial tensions are at an all-time high in the United States after the death of  George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week while in police custody.

Video has since gone viral showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he tells police that he can’t breathe. Floyd’s senseless killing led to mass outrage from all sides of the political aisle. 

Violent riots have since spread across the country like wildfire, which is undoubtedly how what happened in Nebraska on Saturday came to be.

This tragic incident that occurred in Nebraska should serve as a reminder that we can’t afford to let these riots continue to get out of control.

If these riots don’t come to an end immediately, we can expect more young lives to tragically be lost in this way. 

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