The Death of Jake Gardner

A Narrative Analysis

Last night, news broke that Jake Gardner had died by suicide. Gardner had been the focus of controversy after he shot and killed James Scurlock earlier this year. The county attorney called it self defense, but others called it murder.

A special prosecutor was appointed to review the case, and announced last week that they would be charging Gardner with Manslaughter, terroristic threats, and other charges.

Cassandra Fairbanks, a conservative journalist for the The Gateway Pundit, was one of the first yesterday to put out a narrative on the right—the left-wing mob got a politically-motivated prosecutor to throw the book at an innocent man. Facing 94 years in prison, and having Gofundme remove a fundraiser for his legal defense, he took his own life.

The left narrative, amplified by people like Shaun King, emphasizes the special treatment that Gardner received—he wasn’t charged, and when he finally was charged by a competent DA, they allowed him time to turn himself in instead of arresting him. In addition, the left is emphasizing that Gardner’s conceal carry license had expired, and the fact he wasn’t booked for that is further evidence of his special treatment. Now there will be no justice for his victim.


Narrative Evolution

Jake Gardner was a bar owner in Omaha, NE. During riots/protests earlier this year, Jake and his father stood outside the bar. There was an altercation with a few rioters/protestors, and Gardner shot and killed one. The county attorney said the shooting was self defense. This decision prompted protests and there were accusations that Gardner was a white supremacist. The CA called a grand jury and appointed a special prosector to review the case. Last week, the DA announced that they would be charging Gardner with manslaughter, terroristic threats, and other charges. He was due to turn himself in today, but died by suicide over the weekend. 

The emphasis of white supremacy and racism is a very interesting aspect of this story. A medium article written by Ryan Wilkins, a former classmate of Gardner’s, describes how not only Gardner was a racist, but that the logo of his business had secret neo-nazi messaging.

To many on the right, these accusations are pure speculation at best and malicious slander at worse. In the footage of the altercation, Gardner doesn’t use any slurs—he was attacked as he was backing away from the group of rioters. Trump supporters are often maligned as racists, and this is nothing more than baseless character assassination for political reasons.

To the left, Gardner is a known racist, and he went to that protest eager to kill minorities.


Narratives are constantly compressing into a more digestible and archetypal form.

In political narratives, the bad guy in the story quickly becomes Bad Guy the archetype.

To the left narrative, Gardner is obviously and irrefutably a white supremacist—not necessarily because of his individual characteristics or history, but rather because he symbolizes the spirit of white supremacy. Jake Garder is armed, angry, right-wing, white-men.

And the right has their archetypal villain for this story too: Fredrick Franklin, the assistant US attorney appointed to handle the case. He’s a black man, and president of a black attorneys organization who symbolizes left-wing activists using the legal system for racialized political ends.


Notable Amplifiers:


Further Reading:

Omaha Bar Owner Jake Gardner Had Been Targeted By the Left FOR YEARS Over Trump Support - The Gateway Pundit (Cassandra Fairbanks)

Omaha Grand Jury Indicts Bar Owner Over Fatal Shooting Of Black Protester In May - NPR

Justice for James Requires Arresting My Racist Former Classmate - Medium

Don Kleine, Douglas County Attorney: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know - Heavy.com


Sources:

iPhone video of shooting:

County Attorney reviews footage:

US Attorney Franklin announces charges:


That’s all for now.