No charges will be filed against the Omaha, Nebraska, bar owner who fatally shot a protester on Saturday during the third night of riots that have broken out over the death of George Floyd.
Jake Gardner, the owner of The Hive bar in Omaha, will not be charged in the death of James Scurlock, a protester whom he fatally shot in self-defense on Saturday night, according to a report by Omaha World Herald.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said on Monday at a press conference that after reviewing evidence and talking to witnesses, it has been determined that Gardner shot Scurlock in self-defense. Kleine also played a video of the confrontation at the press briefing.
Kleine said that Gardner was standing outside his bar on Saturday night, urging protesters to move along, and could be seen talking with a group of young men — one of them being Scurlock — while backing up.
The report added that after an exchange of words, Gardner ended up lying on his back in the middle of Harney Street — on which The Hive is located — and fired two warning shots, but to no avail, as the struggle continued while Gardner remained on his back.
Then, while Scurlock had him in a chokehold, Gardner fired again. This time, the shot struck Scurlock in the neck, killing him.
Gardner was taken to Omaha police headquarters late Saturday night and was released roughly 24 hours later, reports Omaha World Herald.
The Scurlock family is very disappointed by the decision, according to their attorney, Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne, who added that the family is requesting that Kleine turn the case over to a grand jury.
Protests taking place in cities across the country — which have quickly devolved into riots — appear to be in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in Minnesota last week after former police officer Derek Chauvin was seen pressing his knee onto his neck.
On Friday, the state of Minnesota announced that Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Following Floyd’s death, days of riots ensued across the country that have involved looting, buildings being set on fire, businesses destroyed, the White House going on lockdown, and people being beaten and killed.
The riots have prompted several cities across the nation to issue curfews in an attempt to quell what appears to be a perpetual state of chaos seen in videos circulating on social media.
On Sunday, Omaha mayor Jean Stothert declared a state of emergency and issued a curfew in response to the violence in the city.