When Franklin announced the indictment last week, he gave an overview of new evidence, including messages on Gardner’s phone and video from inside his bar.
Since charges were filed, we expected those details to emerge in court. Now that Gardner has committed suicide, we are pressing for the grand jury report Franklin had promised if no charges were brought. We believe the city needs that transparency.
Moving toward equal treatment for people of color is an important, ongoing battle supported at least in words this summer by Omaha police, the mayor, business leaders and others.
Suicide by our nation’s veterans, of whom Gardner was one, is a crisis we also must address.
We cannot do these things if we get sucked in by Twitter influencers who benefit from encouraging people to scream and threaten.
James Scurlock and Jake Gardner carried the experiences of their very different lives onto Harney Street on the chaotic night of May 30 and got into a fight. Video shows that much without dispute. Gardner brought a gun that he fired three times, and the judicial system was set to determine if his actions were criminal. That also is an indisputable fact.
Now two families mourn their sons and brothers, and the issues that brought these men together remain as unresolved challenges critical to our future.