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

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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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