James Scurlock, a 22-year old African American protester, was killed on May 28th by a white bar owner in Omaha, Nebraska, during what witnesses say was a peaceful protest to honor George Floyd who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. That bar owner, 38-year old Jake Gardner, reportedly became angry about the protesting outside of his establishment and began using racial slurs and inciting the protesters.
In video footage captured on a cell phone, Gardner’s father and a group of protesters are seen pushing each other as the father repeatedly asks them to leave the area.
Gardner then approaches the group, which includes Scurlock, and asks them who pushed his dad while revealing he has a gun. A scuffle follows, and then Gardner fires off two warning shots. Later, another shot is fired from Gardner’s gun and hits Scurlock in his collarbone. He was later pronounced dead at Nebraska Medical Center.
Gardner was arrested and taken into police custody but has since been released with no charges. Police say he appeared to act in self-defense in surveillance footage of the shooting. The family, however, wants a grand jury to make a ruling on the case.
During an interview with Omaha World Herald, Scurlock’s father said, “I lost a son, my wife lost a son, my kids lost a brother. His daughter lost a father. All because he decided to protest against racism. There’s a lot of speculation and rumors about how this happened. I don’t really care to be honest. My family wants closure and peace.”
A GoFundMe page established in his name has raised almost $200,000.