A Nebraska bar owner and US Marine that killed a rioter who was attacking him and his business has committed suicide, a friend of Jake Gardner has confirmed to The Gateway Pundit on Sunday.
His friends are now wondering if Gardner would still be alive today if more people had the courage to publicly support him as his name was being dragged through the mud by the left, both following the shooting and in the years of harassment prior to the fatal incident.
The harassment campaign against Gardner did not begin with the rioter that he shot in self-defense, but it may have been the reason that the mob was at his bar smashing his windows in the first place. For years, the far-left in Omaha has been targeting Gardner for supporting President Donald Trump and for building a third, unisex, bathroom in his bar for transgender customers to use.
Garner was a Marine and veteran of deployments to Iraq and Haiti. He described himself as a libertarian, but voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 and volunteered for his campaign in three states. By all accounts of friends and acquaintances that the Gateway Pundit has spoke to, he was a nice guy who cared very deeply about the world around him.
Gardner’s longtime friend, Las Vegas-based radio host JD Sharp told the Gateway Pundit that a leftist campaign to smear him has been ongoing for years.
Omaha-based radio host Chris Baker confirmed this.
In 2016, Gardner installed a third bathroom after an altercation between a transgender person and a biological woman took place in the restroom of one of his bars. The story made the local news after major outcry from LGBTQ activists in the city. He explained that a person wearing women’s clothes, but with male genitalia, had urinated standing up in the women’s bathroom, making a woman in there uncomfortable. She confronted the person, who then assaulted her. The attacker was kicked out of the bar and the victim declined to file a police report. That incident made Gardner decide to install a third bathroom, which could be used by people who needed it.
“The last thing I would want to do is hurt a member of (the transgender) community,” Gardner told the Omaha World-Herald at the time. “But people’s feelings are going to be hurt when you bring something up that is sensitive.”
The Omaha World-Herald wrote at the time, “Gardner said he does not believe the person in the bathroom incident is representative of trans people as a whole. But he felt something needed to be done, leading to the bathroom project.”
“I’m asking transgender folk to use the unisex … bathroom,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a big ask.”
This prompted immediate allegations that Gardner was a bigot, ones that persisted and expanded as he was a volunteer from the Trump campaign and held Republican events at his establishment.
“I remember that Jake built a third bathroom in his bar. That wasn’t enough for them, I’m pretty sure they just wanted him to let guys in girls bathrooms. I remember a lot of the ‘Jake is a white supremacist’ came from that,” Baker told the Gateway Pundit. “I had him on my show about that. He wasn’t mean to them, he tried to be fair. I remember he spent a bunch of money doing it.”
His friend Sharp confirmed this, and elaborated on the threats against Gardner and his family, both prior to fatal incident with the rioter, and before.
Sharp noted that people were doxxing his mother and that his family was receiving death threats — in no small part thanks to a local activist named JaKeen Fox.
“Bottom line, without pressure from BLM the grand jury would have never been called,” Sharp said. “The leader of that push, JaKeen Fox, wrote tweets saying ‘Rest In Power’ to the Dallas cop killer.”
Indeed, Fox was fired from his job on the city’s LGBTQ advisory board for tweets praising the man responsible for a shooting rampage against police in Dallas in 2016. Five police officers were killed in the attack.
Following Garner’s suicide, in social media posts by Fox, obtained by the Gateway Pundit, the activist celebrated the young businessman’s suicide and continued to smear him as a “racist,” even after his death. “It’s ok to be happy knowing you are exponentially safer with him dead,” Fox wrote.
A viral Medium post from a local activist named Ryan Wilkins, who had spoke to disgruntled former employees, even went so far as to claim that a small plus sign inside of a key on one of his bar’s logos was secretly meant to look like a Swastika.
“Blown-up and side-by-side, the similarities between The Gatsby’s black cross (left) and variations of the Nazi swastika (middle) and the German Iron Cross (right), another symbol sometimes associated with white-supremacy, are striking,” Wilkins wrote.
Despite the obvious insanity of this conspiracy theory, many of the left took the post as gospel and turned on Gardner.
On May 30, the 38-year-old veteran confronted a group of rioters outside one of the bars he owns in Omaha and was knocked to the ground. “From there, he fired two warning shots and tried to get to his feet, prosecutors said. As he did, Gardner got into a fight with one man, James Scurlock, 22. The two scuffled before Gardner fired a shot that killed him,” Yahoo News reported.
The fight began when Scurlock and others started breaking windows at Gardner’s bar, while he and his father were attempting to protect it.
The smears and targeting of Garner for his political beliefs had been going on for over four years at this point, so not attempting to guard the bar at this point would have likely been the end of his business. Rioters across the nation have been burning down and destroying local establishments without even knowing the politics of the owners, surely Garner would have been a large target for them.
“Jake Gardner watched his bar windows get broken out, yes, literally watched, there is video, and his 70-year-old father violently assaulted. He brandished his weapon to alert several incoming assailants that he had one, was tackled by them, fired it as a warning to back away, and after yelling ‘get off me’ several times while being choked from behind, used his weapon to free himself from his assailant. Unfortunately, his assailant, James Scurlock, was fatally injured in that process,” Sharp explained. “Almost immediately Jake Gardner was cleared of all wrongdoing by DA Don Kleine for the unfortunate death of Scurlock in a clear, open-and-shut case of self defense.”
Sharp continued, “soon social justice warriors did what they always do, attempt to hold court, and change laws, and ruling socially. Any business who spoke out for Gardner, or against Scurlock was boycotted, or had groups of protesters attempt to block entry into their establishment. Any person who spoke for Gardner was immediately labeled a bigot, and a racist. Finally, a group of protesters surrounded DA Don Kleine’s home, and shortly after he agreed to appoint a grand jury to retry the case.”
Mob rule certainly seemed to be at play in this case.
The incident prompted a wave of further “protests,” particularly after Donald Kleine, the Douglas County attorney, determined that Gardner had acted in self-defense and declined to bring charges. Protesters even repeatedly showed up to his home, demanding that he file charges, despite the overwhelming evidence that Gardner had acted appropriately and in self-defense.
“That group was led by racists parading as social activists like Jakeen Fox, who, on the night of James Scurlock’s unfortunate death, went on a tirade on my wall where he admitted that he was, in fact, a racist,” Sharp said, referring to Fox’s clear disdain for white people. “All of these efforts should have been deemed acts of Domestic Terrorism.”
A week later, Kleine said in a statement that “after hearing from local residents and elected officials” he would welcome an outside review “in this rare instance.”
Douglas County District Court Judge Shelly Stratman then appointed a special counsel, Fredrick Franklin, an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Omaha, to handle the case, though they said they expected the same outcome.
Franklin is the President of the Midlands Bar Association, an organization for only black attorneys.
On Friday, a judge signed off on an arrest warrant for Gardner, on counts of manslaughter, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted first-degree assault and making terrorist threats. It was clear to anyone paying attention that the charges were political.
The charge of making “terrorist threats” seems to be due to Gardner saying that he was holding a “military style fire watch” to protect his business from being burned down, like so many others have been during the riots.
“Franklin appeased the mob of racists parading as social justice warriors, and the city of Omaha, to avoid a riot and bad headlines by throwing a string of charges at Jake, all of which would be very difficult to prove,” Sharp explained. “Franklin called ‘military style fire watch’ a terroristic threat, turned firing off two warning shots in clear defense into a felony, claimed Jake was assaulted first, and turned what was a clear case of self defense into manslaughter.”
Gardner’s bail was expected to be one million dollars.
“I had several people tell me Jake wouldn’t be safe in jail if he ended up being unable to come up with the money to be bailed out,” Sharp said.
A GoFundMe to raise funds for bail and legal fees was terminated by the platform.
Still, despite the massive legal hurdles, smear campaign, threats and other troubles Gardner was facing, his friends were shocked that he would take his own life.
“Jake Gardner, my friend, who had more support than he ever knew, took his own life yesterday,” Sharp lamented. “It’s the last thing I would expect him to do. The Jake Gardner I spent an extensive amount of time with was calculated, and careful, and a brilliant business mind. He took a tiny bar on 17th and Leavenworth and parlayed it into a powerhouse club that was constantly at capacity in the center of the Old Market.”
One of the ways that the left has been smearing him is to call him “racist” over having a dress code policy at his establishment.
“Did he have strict guidelines for his bars? Absolutely. Was he aware of a specific crowd that has been instrumental in putting bars, and nightclubs, in Downtown Omaha out of business for the better part of two decades? Of course. Did he want those people in his establishment? No. Did he have literally every legal right to decide who entered his establishment as a private business owner? Yes,” Sharp said. “Jake understood what happened to places like Capitol, and Denim, and Diamonds, and other establishments that had to close their doors significantly earlier than they wanted to — and he was constantly lambasted for not being afraid to act on it.”
“Witnesses” to the fatal incident at the bar claimed that they had heard Gardner make a racial slur, but their stories have changed repeatedly. Many who knew Gardner, as well as online commentators, have questioned the validity of these claims. Lately, it seems to be a growing trend that any time a person of color attacks a white person, they simple claim that the white person said something racist. Even if he had, that would not be a legal ground to physically attack someone.
“I never once heard Jake say anything racist. That night, he had no idea who was choking him. The choke came from behind, and it was dark outside. The two ‘witnesses’ claiming they heard him say racial slurs changed their stories almost immediately,” Sharp explained. “This didn’t stop a complete, and full fledged effort to disparage Jake.”
Sharp noted that “activists” in Omaha were quick to try and cash in on the fatal incident, making tee shirts that said “F-ck Jake Gardner” and launching a GoFundMe so that left-wing activists could attempt to take over the bar. He said that they were “pretending to have sympathy for James Scurlock, but were really looking to monetize his death.” He also expressed his sadness over the “thousands, literally thousands, of Omahan’s calling him a racist, and a murderer without an ounce of evidence to support it. Every single one of these people has been documented.”
“This widespread smear campaign also created a fear to support him. Countless residents of Omaha refused to speak out for him because they were afraid of the social justice warriors from coming after them too. A prominent restaurant owner initially supported him, and was viciously attacked digitally by a group of people calling for a boycott of his numerous locations. People were afraid to speak out in fear of losing their jobs, having their homes targeted, or being called ‘racist’. I have to wonder if Jake had received some of that public support if he would be alive today,” Sharp said.
Sharp added that “Omaha will now likely develop both a stigma of not protecting its business owners, but also having impressionable, easily swayed District Attorneys, and corrupt prosecutors interested in appeasing their bases with borderline bogus charges. When that happens, it was well earned.”
Gardner was allegedly planning to turn himself in to the police on Monday. He was facing up to 95 years in prison if convicted on all charges. His body was found 20 minutes outside of Portland, where he was reportedly staying with his uncle.
Marina Medvin, a lawyer working on the Kyle Rittenhouse case, called his suicide “absolutely tragic” and urged people to reach out to Fight Back Law if they find themselves in a similar situation.
This man acted in self defense and took his own life after being indicted in a politicized prosecution.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR LIFE!
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) September 20, 2020