Special Prosecutor Fredrick D. Franklin gave a press conference on Wednesday discussing the case he brought against Omaha bar owner Jake Gardner — and essentially used his support for President Donald Trump to justify the political persecution against him.
Gardner killed himself over the weekend, after being hit with multiple charges for killing a rioter that was attacking him and his bar.
Franklin explained that the day before the shooting, President Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and said that it was significant that Gardner’s “affinity for the president” was well-known.
Franklin said text messages to and from Gardner make references to looters and “how they could be dealt with.” Apparently, talking about defending yourself means that when rioters come smash windows at your business, you cannot defend yourself.
Franklin also stated Gardner was “philosophically opposed” to the reason for the protest, which also, apparently, negates his right to defend himself. He admitted that the rioters were smashing windows and vandalizing the bar, but downplayed it.
“Jake and others sat inside the Hive, with the lights off, and vandals and people engaged in destroying did just that,” he said. “But one thing they did not do…there was not a single attempt to go inside the property.”
He claimed that by being at his business, with the lights off, “Jake Gardner had set up an ambush inside his business, waiting on a looter to come in so he could ‘light him up.'”
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.
On May 30, the 38-year-old veteran confronted a group of rioters outside one of the bars he owned in Omaha because one of them had just shoved his 70-year-old father. He 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 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.
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.
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.
Franklin is the President of the Midlands Bar Association, an organization for only black attorneys.
Last 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.
On Sunday, Gardner was found dead near Portland, where he was staying with his uncle, after an apparent suicide.
“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,” Gardner’s long time friend JD Sharp told the Gateway Pundit. “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.”