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Omaha Nebraska Grand Jury Decides to Indict Bar Owner in Shooting Death of James Scurlock

OGrand jury decides to indict bar owner in shooting death of James Scurlock

The Grand Jury in the case of Jake Gardner has charged  him with attempted first-degree assault, weapon use, making terroristic threats and manslaughter for the May 30, 2020 shooting death of 22-year-old James Scurlock in Omaha Nebraska. The grand jury rejected the Omaha businessman’s claim that he was acting in self-defense  when he shot James Scurlock during protests five days after the death of George Floyd.

Initially the special Prosecutor Fred Franklin, an African-American, believed the shooting was in self-defense but said he changed his mind after Douglas County attorney Don Kleine announced that he wouldn’t be charging Gardner after Scurlock allegedly had put him in a chokehold.

“Jake Gardner was threatening the use of deadly force in the absence of being threatened with . . . deadly force by James Scurlock or anyone who was associated with him,” said Franklin.  “There has been discussion about whether Jake Gardner is a racist, I’m not commenting on whether or not that evidence was presented to the grand jury. . . . Being a racist is not against the law.”.

The jury did not charge the shooting as a hate crime.

Gardner faces up to 95 years behind bars if convicted.

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