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Old 09-08-2020, 09:17 AM
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Default A case of self defense or not (long) - Sadly update in Post #36.

There's lots of chatting here about righteous self defense shootings and bad shoots. For those interested, here's a case in the squishy middle.

During the George Floyd riots in Omaha a few months ago, a bar owner and his dad were protecting the bar. They were attacked by some rioters. The bar owner shot and killed one of the rioters. The County Attorney, who has been pretty even handed in SD cases, cleared the bar owner. A big protest ensued. Because of the uproar, the County Attorney agreed to call a Grand Jury to look at charges. The Grand Jury is just starting to meet.

The local paper just did an analysis looking at both sides of the argument (self defense vs not) using local attorneys that have Nebraska SD experience. The article also contains videos of the event from multiple sources.

The article is long, but it really lays out how messy the legal side of an SD shooting can be. Not a binary good or bad choice. Also, even if the bar owner isn't charged, important to note it's already pretty much wrecked his life.

Here's the link.
Provocation or protection? Videos, case law will guide grand jury in James Scurlock's death | Crime News | omaha.com

ETA - for background - Omaha probably has 25 to 30 murders per year and just a guess but maybe 3 to 4 non-fatal shootings per week. IMO, Nebraska probably sits in middle in SD laws. Somewhere between Texas and New Jersey.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:07 AM
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Whatever the outcome of the case, someone else will probably own
the bar.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:12 AM
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Guaranteed, legal fees will eat the owners. As for the legal outcome, hard to say since the event occurred on a public street. If it had occurred within the the confines of the property, likely would have been an easy case to settle.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:22 AM
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Sometimes, the decisions on cases like these can be long drawn, convoluted, and strange. Many will disagree, no matter how it is decided. Actually, the less informed will probably disagree with a jury just because. Every detail-especially the details not reported by the media-influences the jury decision. Sometimes, despite public opinion, the law has to be considered.
Trevor Martin and George Zimmerman case is an example. Lots of disagreement from the public about the verdict. But Zimmerman had broken contact and was leaving the area when Martin ambushed him. Martin was beating Zimmermans head against concrete, which has the same result as hitting a head with a brick. Lots of the public didn't see it that way.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Arkansawyer View Post
Whatever the outcome of the case, someone else will probably own
the bar.
Already happened. He owned two bars, side by side. The building owner revoked his leases. Why they revoked them is in question, but they still got revoked and the revocations happened immediately after this occurred.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:38 PM
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Personally, my thoughts on the matter are as follows.

The letter of the law is to be followed, but not so strictly as to allow one's self to be terrorized, brutalized, victimized, or outright murdered.

If I owned a business that was my livelihood, then I would defend it with my life against those who would seek to destroy it. It makes no difference to me whether it has been decided that it's suddenly okay for certain people to destroy my property, ruin my livelihood, and especially harm me in the process.

In such a situation, you're pretty much darned in you do and darned if you don't... Either your business is destroyed and you're financially ruined, or you get sued for defending your business and you're financially ruined, so you better believe that if given the choice between the two, I'll take the route of a warrior and fight to protect what's mine and fight in court to defend my rights.
I'll always stand up for myself, for what is right and just. It won't earn me any popularity and it will most certainly be the harder it the two paths, but I refuse to be a victim and I refuse to stand idly by in the face of wickedness and injustice.

Don't get me wrong, I wish to be a peaceful man at heart, and I will always do my best to turn the other cheek and seek a path of peace, but when it comes to such grotesque injustice as being victimized as Law Enforcement is forced to turn a blind eye to my plight then turn on me because I didn't just lie down and take it, that's when I say NO! I refuse to accept the unilateral lawlessness that is going on in some parts of the nation and if it were to arrive at my doorstep, then I'm going to approach the situation in what I believe is the only appropriate fashion, I will defend myself, my home, and my family because if I'm going to loose everything either way, then I would rather go down fighting.

I only pray that it never comes to that and that order will be restored nationwide soon enough.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Arkansawyer View Post
Whatever the outcome of the case, someone else will probably own
the bar.
On the other hand, he is still alive.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:00 PM
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Well that's clear as mud.

I think the biggest mistake here was standing on the street. Both of the Gardners should have retreated inside the bar.

I'm glad I'm not on this jury. This will take a while to sort out.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
Already happened. He owned two bars, side by side. The building owner revoked his leases. Why they revoked them is in question, but they still got revoked and the revocations happened immediately after this occurred.
I hope he has a lawyer review his lease. He may end up still owning his bars and the building they're in.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:52 AM
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I hope he has a lawyer review his lease. He may end up still owning his bars and the building they're in.

That was my thought as well.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:26 AM
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It's disappointing that the prosecutor abdicated his responsibility to make charging decisions to a mob.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forte Smitten Wesson View Post
Personally, my thoughts on the matter are as follows.

The letter of the law is to be followed, but not so strictly as to allow one's self to be terrorized, brutalized, victimized, or outright murdered.

If I owned a business that was my livelihood, then I would defend it with my life against those who would seek to destroy it. It makes no difference to me whether it has been decided that it's suddenly okay for certain people to destroy my property, ruin my livelihood, and especially harm me in the process.

In such a situation, you're pretty much darned in you do and darned if you don't... Either your business is destroyed and you're financially ruined, or you get sued for defending your business and you're financially ruined, so you better believe that if given the choice between the two, I'll take the route of a warrior and fight to protect what's mine and fight in court to defend my rights.
I'll always stand up for myself, for what is right and just. It won't earn me any popularity and it will most certainly be the harder it the two paths, but I refuse to be a victim and I refuse to stand idly by in the face of wickedness and injustice.

Don't get me wrong, I wish to be a peaceful man at heart, and I will always do my best to turn the other cheek and seek a path of peace, but when it comes to such grotesque injustice as being victimized as Law Enforcement is forced to turn a blind eye to my plight then turn on me because I didn't just lie down and take it, that's when I say NO! I refuse to accept the unilateral lawlessness that is going on in some parts of the nation and if it were to arrive at my doorstep, then I'm going to approach the situation in what I believe is the only appropriate fashion, I will defend myself, my home, and my family because if I'm going to loose everything either way, then I would rather go down fighting.

I only pray that it never comes to that and that order will be restored nationwide soon enough.
Thoughtful answer.

IMO, in the current political climate (at least in the cities) you have to make a choice if someone attacks you with deadly force: 1) being killed or maimed or 2) using deadly force to protect yourself (or your loved ones) to stay alive, but losing everything you have in the aftermath from the legal process.

Not 100%, but seems like the direction things are going.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:30 AM
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This is the most insightful and relevant quote from the story:

Quote:
ďThe criminal code doesnít fit well during mass chaos,Ē one longtime prosecutor said.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
Thoughtful answer.

IMO, in the current political climate (at least in the cities) you have to make a choice if someone attacks you with deadly force: 1) being killed or maimed or 2) using deadly force to protect yourself (or your loved ones) to stay alive, but losing everything you have in the aftermath from the legal process.

Not 100%, but seems like the direction things are going.
I am a man of faith and a man of hope. I reject the world's pessimistic view and asserted slanted messages of hopelessness. I reject the agents of chaos within society who promote fear, doubt, paranoia, and anarchy within society. I reject evil and all those who sow its seeds.

I will fight until the end to uphold my ideals of justice and morality in spite of all opposition, holding fast to my belief that justice will prevail in the end, regardless of whether or not I'm around to see it.

For too long have good people remained silent, succumbed to fear and doubt, allowed evil to take root by relinquishing their ideals and allowing their conscience to be compromised as their minds became tainted by nihilism. I reject it all and will stand firm before my convictions. I accept personal responsibility for my actions, especially my faults, my failures, and my shortcomings. I shall seek to better myself with great tenacity rather than allow fear to compromise my spirit and surrender in the face of darkness.

Folks may mock me for my speech, doubt my resolve, question my convictions, and slander my name, but by God I will be a man of courage regardless and my light shall pierce through their darkness.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
This is the most insightful and relevant quote from the story:
Do you think concealed carriers should keep moving forward using the old rules and just let the cards fall where they may? Or do you think if someone get incidentally gets caught up in a deadly force attack in a riot there's a better approach?
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:27 PM
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Two thoughts:

1. If this were 1955, we wouldn't be having this conversation. (I miss America. Where did she go? If you see her, tell her to come home).

2. Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6. Every time. Be more clever than the bad guys. Think outside the box. Way outside it.


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Old 09-09-2020, 07:19 PM
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I think that the criminal code does not fit well during mass chaos. I am not your spiritual advisor. . .

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Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
Do you think concealed carriers should keep moving forward using the old rules and just let the cards fall where they may? Or do you think if someone get incidentally gets caught up in a deadly force attack in a riot there's a better approach?
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:41 PM
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I think that the criminal code does not fit well during mass chaos. I am not your spiritual advisor. . .
Probably why I didnít ask you for spirtual advice.

Since you spent years as a federal probation officer (IIRC) and are a bounty agent now (IIRC); and since youíre participating in a forum where people discuss things about concealed carry issues, I assumed you had nore depth than just parroting ďI think that the criminal code does not fit well during mass chaos.Ē Guess not.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:49 PM
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In addition to my 20 year Federal career, I also have ten years as a real police officer and professional firefighter, and two years as the criminal investigator for a county prosecutor. Iím more of a bail bond agent than I am a bounty hunter, because I donít write a bond if I think youíre gonna run. I have much more depth, but I donít offer advice for free on an anonymous Internet forum. Hereís my best advice for free. Unless it impacts me or mine, Iím out. You can Venmo me in advance for paid advice . . .

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Probably why I didnít ask you for spirtual advice.

Since you spent years as a federal probation officer (IIRC) and are a bounty agent now (IIRC); and since youíre participating in a forum where people discuss things about concealed carry issues, I assumed you had nore depth than just parroting ďI think that the criminal code does not fit well during mass chaos.Ē Guess not.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:59 PM
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It's not directly relevant, but I'm 7'2" and routinely date 19 year old heiresses (if they are buxom and have daddy issues).

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Old 09-09-2020, 08:19 PM
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In addition to my 20 year Federal career, I also have ten years as a real police officer and professional firefighter, and two years as the criminal investigator for a county prosecutor. Iím more of a bail bond agent than I am a bounty hunter, because I donít write a bond if I think youíre gonna run. I have much more depth, but I donít offer advice for free on an anonymous Internet forum. Hereís my best advice for free. Unless it impacts me or mine, Iím out. You can Venmo me in advance for paid advice . . .
A non-answer. Duly noted.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:29 PM
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That actually is an answer. Most people do not realize that ďNo commentĒ is a comment. Your reply is duly noted as well. You are not getting an answer that you want. That prosecutor was spot on. My 35 years in the business have very explicitly demonstrated to me that the criminal code does not fit well in incidents of mass chaos. Your reaction will be based on your experience and your desire to survive. One of my favorite federal judges once rebuffed an objection by a defendant acting as his own attorney by stating ďI do not have to tell you why. This is a trial. This is not law school.Ē The same reasoning applies here. That is all.

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A non-answer. Duly noted.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:42 PM
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I’m wondering whether insurance for a small business covers rioting, or whether rioting is considered force majeure. I know that insurance, under its force majeure clause, can exclude coverage for terrorism, for example.

I’m not a lawyer nor an insurance broker, so I don’t know the answer to the question I pose. But if believed my insurance would cover damage caused by rioting, I’d think about just locking up and going home rather than sticking around and trying protect the place.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:12 PM
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^^^^Entirely reasonable plan.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:21 PM
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Just in. Grand jury returned a manslaughter charge against Jake Gardner plus some lesser charges. The special prosecutor alluded that the tipping point for the manslaughter charge was partly due to Gardnerís prior social media postings and text messages showing intent (my paraphrase). Another charge, first degree assault, was related to Gardner firing a second warning shots.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
Just in. Grand jury returned a manslaughter charge against Jake Gardner plus some lesser charges. The special prosecutor alluded that the tipping point for the manslaughter charge was partly due to Gardnerís prior social media postings and text messages showing intent (my paraphrase). Another charge, first degree assault, was related to Gardner firing a second warning shots.
Alas, such is the cost of going into battle, you have to be willing to accept the consequences and see it through to the very end.

The situation was completely screwed up to begin with and it was obvious how this was going to end considering all of the circumstances involved.

The first and potentially most difficult factor in any battle is considering whether it is worthy of pursuit, and having the strength to stand down in spite of your anger if it is not.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:17 PM
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At least one of my policies excludes riots and insurrections. An "all risks" policy is probably affordable or unobtainable to those who truly need them.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Was it reasonable for Gardner to believe that his life was in danger?
I do think that is the sole question.

Everything else is either a sad commentary or just sad. Loss of business, cost of defense, whatever. If he was reasonably in fear for his life or of serious bodily harm it's justifiable. If the law in Nebraska is unclear on this point that's a sad commentary as well.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
I do think that is the sole question.

Everything else is either a sad commentary or just sad. Loss of business, cost of defense, whatever. If he was reasonably in fear for his life or of serious bodily harm it's justifiable. If the law in Nebraska is unclear on this point that's a sad commentary as well.
I think the messy point is - was Gardner a mutual combatant claiming self defense or was he an innocent bystander that was attacked defending his business.

In his press conference the special prosecutor implied the grand jury thought he was a mutual combatant looking for trouble because of the content of his social media posts and text messages.

Interestingly, I heard the original county attorney, the one that didnít charge him, on tv saying getting a grand jury indictment is way easier than getting the conviction.
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Old 09-16-2020, 07:20 AM
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Interestingly, I heard the original county attorney, the one that didnít charge him, on tv saying getting a grand jury indictment is way easier than getting the conviction.
He is absolutely correct. A good prosecutor could convince a grand jury to indict a cheese sandwich, goes the saying . . .
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:01 AM
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The bar owner is indicted.

...The bar owner, Jake Gardner, was indicted by a grand jury in Douglas County on four counts, including manslaughter, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted first degree assault and making terrorist threats, officials said....

...Though Mr. Franklin declined to elaborate on the specific evidence that was presented, he said that the grand jury was ďable to understand that Jake Gardner was threatening the use of deadly force in the absence of being threatened with a concomitant deadly force by James Scurlock or anyone who was associated with him.Ē

White Bar Owner Indicted in Fatal Shooting of Black Man During Protest - The New York Times

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Old 09-16-2020, 04:14 PM
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I'm not surprised. I reiterate, he should have gone inside when things got heated.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:55 PM
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Jury nullification is the answer in these situations.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:02 PM
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The bad news for the newly-minted defendant is he needs to find $50-$75k for a defense attorney to keep him from conviction.

Not shooting people is much cheaper.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:19 AM
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"Beyond a reasonable doubt," the standard of proof at trial, is a much higher bar than "more likely than not," the standard used by the grand jury.

There are only really two possible criminal defense strategies for any defendant. The first is "I didn't do it," which is rarely successful, even if you actually didn't do it, as evidenced by the wrongful conviction cases that appear with some regularity, especially with advances in forensic science since the crime.

The second, and most successful, is "You can't prove it," which can be a winner even if you did it.

I wish this man luck, and I wish the jury godspeed in sorting out the chaos. There but for the grace of God go us all . . .
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:58 PM
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This just on the news a few minutes ago. Jake Gardner, the bar owner/defendant here, was supposed to turn himself in today on manslaughter charges from the grand jury. He committed suicide instead. He was defending himself, his father, and his property during a riot. Tragic.

Jake Gardner, accused of manslaughter for Scurlockís death, has died by suicide

ETA - Press conference held by Mr. Gardner's attorney following his death. Long, but a strong condemnation of social media and the press for their lying and their rush to judgement.

Jake Gardner, man charged in Scurlock death, has died by suicide

ETAA - From the news conference, Gardner was a decorated Marine Vet with two combat tours in Iraq. 70% disability. Suffered from PTSD.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:22 PM
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A permanent solution to a temporary problem. Unfortunate . . .

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Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
This just on the news a few minutes ago. Jake Gardner, the bar owner/defendant here, was supposed to turn himself in today on manslaughter charges from the grand jury. He committed suicide instead. He was defending himself, his father, and his property during a riot. Tragic.

Jake Gardner, accused of manslaughter for Scurlockís death, has died by suicide
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:55 PM
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Very sad to hear.

Suicide is no joke. Remember to take someone seriously if you see any of the signs.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:56 AM
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What a shame. There never should have been a special prosecutor. The standard for recusal or replacement of an elected prosecutor is very high, and there was nothing I saw about this case that justified a special prosecutor.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:06 AM
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Very sad ending. Thank you for the update.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:32 AM
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While this is terribly tragic, he shouldn't have given up like that, he should have kept on fighting. He may have gone to prison, but at the very least he could have become a symbol of endurance who stood firm against injustice, regardless of the cost. Now he'll just be used as an example by cowards and charlatans in attempt to convince others to just lay down and take it, lest they end up like him. That's no way for a man to be remembered.
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:54 PM
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I'm really sad to hear this news. An American hero, multiple tours, and, in the end, I think it was chicken **** to call in a special prosecutor to avoid the heat. Unfortunately, our adversarial system of justice requires deep pockets. If he was in fact jumped from behind as the story reports, would be have been found guilty solely to avoid a riot?
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
Just in. Grand jury returned a manslaughter charge against Jake Gardner plus some lesser charges. The special prosecutor alluded that the tipping point for the manslaughter charge was partly due to Gardnerís prior social media postings and text messages showing intent (my paraphrase). Another charge, first degree assault, was related to Gardner firing a second warning shots.
You can see what 'warning shots' get you. That should be a definitive answer to all that ask, "Should I fire warning shots)
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
This just on the news a few minutes ago. Jake Gardner, the bar owner/defendant here, was supposed to turn himself in today on manslaughter charges from the grand jury. He committed suicide instead. He was defending himself, his father, and his property during a riot. Tragic.

Jake Gardner, accused of manslaughter for Scurlockís death, has died by suicide

ETA - Press conference held by Mr. Gardner's attorney following his death. Long, but a strong condemnation of social media and the press for their lying and their rush to judgement.

Jake Gardner, man charged in Scurlock death, has died by suicide

ETAA - From the news conference, Gardner was a decorated Marine Vet with two combat tours in Iraq. 70% disability. Suffered from PTSD.
This is just wrong.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:13 PM
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Sad. Another victim of the toxic culture on social media.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:04 AM
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I was watching Fox News last night and I think it was Tucker talking about this very thing. What was posted on social media about his suicide was very disturbing. Evidently, pushing people to suicide is now a tactic. Very dangerous times in which we live.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:15 AM
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I was watching Fox News last night and I think it was Tucker talking about this very thing. What was posted on social media about his suicide was very disturbing. Evidently, pushing people to suicide is now a tactic. Very dangerous times in which we live.
Hereís one of many sad parts to a really tragic situation.

In his bar, he had women customers complain about transgender men (dressed like women) using the womenís restroom. His solution was to add a unisex restroom. Female anatomy use the womenís restroom, male anatomy use the menís restroom, donít cares use the unisex restroom. Youíd think that would accommodate everybody, right? Nope. For doing that he was branded on social media as a homophobic racist.
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Old 09-22-2020, 11:16 AM
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It's just the times we are living in, folks. If a guy thinks he is a female German Shepherd, then by damn, he is one! I can only be glad that I'm almost 75 years old, and don't have too much more time to see my beloved country subjected to this Alice-in-wonderland liberal ****! I feel extremely sorry for my grandchildren to have to be subjected to this craziness.
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:37 PM
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It's just the times we are living in, folks. If a guy thinks he is a female German Shepherd, then by damn, he is one! I can only be glad that I'm almost 75 years old, and don't have too much more time to see my beloved country subjected to this Alice-in-wonderland liberal ****! I feel extremely sorry for my grandchildren to have to be subjected to this craziness.
My mother passed this year (not COVID-related) at age 96. You could have another 20 years if you take care of yourself. BTW, I'm not wild about these times either. My granddaughter, a Marine, is getting married to another Marine in California tomorrow, and we couldn't go due to my wife's health.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:39 PM
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I was watching Fox News last night and I think it was Tucker talking about this very thing. What was posted on social media about his suicide was very disturbing. Evidently, pushing people to suicide is now a tactic. Very dangerous times in which we live.
What a sad, lonely, pitiful life a person must live to care so deeply about garbage posted on social media.

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How long should i keep my self defense rounds in my mag?? tparrack Concealed Carry & Self Defense 22 03-30-2012 09:15 PM
.32 S&W Long Self Defense Loads Col Defender Reloading 4 02-07-2010 09:48 PM
Self Defense in this case might be tough Beemer-mark The Lounge 27 01-07-2010 03:51 AM

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