The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

Posted on | June 2, 2020 | 2 Comments


First, there was the rioter in St. Louis who decided he could win a contest against a FedEx truck, and lost. This morning, we had the story of the young Philadephians who decided that robbing a gun store was a good idea, to their eternal regret. Now we have the tale of a young “social justice” activist in Omaha, Nebraska, who chose poorly:

A handful of grainy and graphic videos led Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine to conclude that a white bar owner acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a 22-year-old black Omaha man Saturday night.
As a result, Jake Gardner, owner of the side-by-side Gatsby and Hive bars downtown, will not face charges in the death of James Scurlock.
A surveillance video from Gardner’s bars, played Monday at a press conference, shows a group of young people, including Scurlock, approaching Gardner.
Walking backward, Gardner lifts his shirt to show a handgun
, then pulls it to his side and continues backing up. Two people from Scurlock’s group — a man and a woman — tackle Gardner, who ends up on his back in a puddle in the street.
He fires twice into the air — he characterized them as warning shots in an interview with Omaha police. The two people run away from him.
Four seconds after that, Scurlock rushes from the sidewalk and dives on Gardner. Kleine said Scurlock was on Gardner’s back and had his arm around the bar owner’s neck. Gardner could be heard on another bystander’s video hollering, “Get off me, get off me.”
His right arm pinned, Kleine said, Gardner switched the gun to his left hand and fired over his shoulder. The bullet hit Scurlock in the shoulder-neck area, killing him.
Under Nebraska law, a person can be justified in killing another if he has a reasonable belief that deadly force is needed to protect himself or others. People are not allowed to use deadly force to protect property.
Kleine said he and Chief Deputy Brenda Beadle spent Sunday breaking down videos and witness statements “with all of the homicide detectives.”
“There was a consensus that the actions of the shooter were justified,” he said. “We certainly wish that none of this would have happened. It’s a senseless death.”

Here’s the report from Omaha’s KMTV:



That television report doesn’t make clear the context of what happened. James Scurlock was part of a group of criminals who were vandalizing businesses in the Old Market district. Scurlock was seen on surveillance video with an accomplice at 10:15 p.m. smashing up an architecture firm on Harney Street half a block from Gardner’s bar. Forty minutes later, the rioters smashed the glass in Gardner’s bar. The owner and his father were inside, protecting their business, and when the owners came out on the sidewalk, Scurlock’s accomplice attacked Gardner’s father, shoving him to the ground. This led to the fatal altercation.

In the video, the person who first jumped Gardner was a 19-year-old woman named Alayna Melendez. It is not clear whether she herself was part of the gang of vandals smashing up Harney Street, but she was obviously (a) in the vicinity, and (b) sympthetic to the rioters:

One of the protesters who tackled Gardner told KETV Newswatch 7’s Michelle Bandur, she had to act when she heard someone had a gun.
“I knew it was not going to end well,” Alayna Melendez said.
Melendez, 19, said she had been at the protests Friday and Saturday at 72nd and Dodge and moved downtown closer to home.
“Silence is violence,” she said.
Melendez said as a person of color, she had to jump in to help.

“I grabbed him from behind and pulled him to the ground and as soon as I pulled him to the ground, people gathered around us and he had his hand positioned in a way and just shot,” she said.
Melendez said Gardner fired two warning shots.
“The very last shot, that got him (Scurlock) and that killed him,” she said.
Melendez gave a statement to police hoping it would help bring charges against Gardner.
She also says she would do it again.
“I was not scared to lose my life that night. I was fully indebted to losing my life and fully aware I could have lost my life that night,” Melendez said.

Why hasn’t Alayna Melendez been charged with assault? By the way, there is another video of this incident that went viral:

“It’s not worth it!”

They didn’t listen. James Scurlock could not be reached for comment.



2 Responses to “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”

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