A white business owner who fatally shot an unarmed Black man during Omaha civil unrest will be charged with manslaughter and several other charges, reports the Associated Press. The May 30 shooting of 22-year-old James Scurlock was reviewed by a grand jury after Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine declined to charge bar owner Jake Gardner. Kleine said he believed Gardner acted in self-defense after reviewing video of and witness statements about the altercation. Kleine requested the review after his decision was criticized. Special Prosecutor Frederick Franklin said the grand jury reviewed additional evidence that Kleine didn’t have. Franklin said the evidence the grand jury reviewed undermines the conclusion that the shooting was self defense.
“There was significant evidence that was consistent with there being an intentional killing by Jake Gardner and that evidence comes primarily from him,” he said. Scurlock’s shooting happened as protests unfolded in Omaha after George Floyd’s death. The shooting happened outside Gardner’s bar as he sought to ward off any theft or property damage. After the shooting, Kleine showed surveillance video that seemed to show words exchanged between Gardner, his father and protesters before Gardner, flashing the gun, backed away. Gardner was shoved to the ground by two people before he fired two shots, sending people scrambling. Scurlock jumped on Gardner’s back and was shot by Gardner.