Family of Jake Gardner Files Suit After Suicide Following Grand Jury Indictment — Gardner Was Indicted After Killing Violent BLM Rioter in Self Defense

Jake Gardner was a Nebraska bar owner and Marine veteran who killed a BLM rioter last year. The circumstances of the shooting seemed to show a clear case of self-defense. Gardner was knocked to the ground outside his Omaha bar, The Hive, in a confrontation with rioters who had attacked Gardner’s 70-year-old father.

Gardner fired a warning shot and attempted to back away before one of the rioters began choking him. Gardner was choked for 18 seconds while pleading “Get off me, get off me, please get off me.” Jake Gardner then fatally shot the rioter.

The killing was initially ruled self-defense by the attorney general before political pressure started mounting. Douglas County District Court Judge Shelly Stratman appointed Special Prosecutor Fredrick D. Franklin to handle the case, though the court said that they expected the same outcome. Instead, Franklin, who is the President of the Midlands Bar Association, a black-only attorney organization, decided to press charges.

The lawsuit notes implied that Gardner was a ‘racist’.

Gardner was charged with manslaughter, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted first-degree assault, and terroristic threats. A week after the Grand Jury indictment, Gardner committed suicide.

Gardner also received over 1,600 death threats.

The family of Jake Gardner has now filed a lawsuit against Franklin, Donald W. Kleine, the Douglas County Attorney’s Office, Douglas County, NE, and Does 1 & 2.  The lawsuit claims Gardner was denied due process largely due to Franklin’s comments who was quoted saying, “Gardner had set up an ambush inside his business, waiting on a looter to come in so he could ‘light him up.’”

John Pierce, who is representing the family of Jake Gardner, made these statements on the case to

“This is more than a typical case to us at Pierce Bainbridge and the NCLU, this is a personal matter. As a military veteran myself, I am disgusted to see another member of the United States Military be treated the way Jake was. This was not only a tragedy for the family but also this country. Jake was a beloved man by his family, friends, and his community.”

“Jake was specifically targeted by numerous forces, including the media, to be labeled as a murderer and a racist. The simple fact is Jake was simply and absolutely defending himself from being killed and his property being destroyed by rioters. All responsible here will be held accountable, and this will be an important step in putting the country back on track and restoring true equality and justice…

“Jake’s death will not be in vain,” Pierce concluded.

Here is the full Gardner family lawsuit.


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