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A 22-Year-Old Black Man Was Fatally Shot At A Protest Against Police Brutality Outside An Omaha Bar

"Last night I lost a son. My wife lost a son. ... All because he decided to protest against racism."

UPDATE

On Monday, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said that the owner of the bar acted in self defense and will not face charges. Read more here.


A 22-year-old black man protesting police brutality in Omaha, Nebraska, was fatally shot outside a bar Saturday night.

James Scurlock died after being shot around 11 p.m. in the Old Market neighborhood of Omaha. He was transported to the Nebraska Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Omaha Police said they have taken into custody an individual connected to the shooting, but refused to provide further details. Several news outlets have identified the shooter as the owner of a couple of local bars.

Nationwide, thousands of as protesters demonstrated in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, who were unarmed and killed by the police.

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While police have not said what led to the shooting, local news outlets in Omaha reported that Scurlock allegedly broke one of the bar's windows during the protest — though many on social media dispute he did — and that the shooter used racial slurs against Scurlock before firing his gun.

"The Omaha Police Department is not currently looking for any suspects," police said in a statement. "Investigators are in the process of reviewing all collected evidence, video, witness interviews and conferring with the Douglas County Attorney's office."

Scurlock's father spoke to reporters Sunday, calling for justice and saying he and his family want "closure and peace."

“Last night I lost a son. My wife lost a son. My kids lost a brother,” Scurlock's father, who has the same name, told reporters. “His daughter lost a father. All because he decided to protest against racism. There’s a lot of speculation and rumors about how this happened. I don’t really care, to be honest. My family wants closure and peace. What we want is for this to go to court and get a full prosecution. We want this to go with justice and go peacefully,”

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Hundreds of protesters took the streets of downtown Omaha Saturday night, and some damaged buildings and clashed with police.

Large crowds gathered near the site of the shooting Sunday to remember and mourn Scurlock.

"He was my best friend, my go-to. He was there for me at my lowest," a woman told the Omaha World-Herald. "A life for a window is not OK. No justice, no peace."

On Sunday, the city's mayor declared a state of emergency and put a curfew in place from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

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Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at maryann.georgantopoulos@buzzfeed.com.

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