This digital billboard appeared Monday morning, September 20th, on the one year anniversary of Jake Gardner's suicide.
Just a matter of hours later, it was removed from its location near 72nd and I-80 by billboard company Lamar Advertising. I talked with their local general manager, Dave Haltin, who told me the corporate offices in Baton Rouge, La. made the decision after receiving numerous complaints because the message on the billboard was "sensitive content for the community." He did not specify how many complaints they received. THIS REDDIT THREAD calling attention to the billboard was commented upon 99 times; another that celebrated the removal of the billboard was commented on 63 times.
CLICK HERE for my conversation with Jake's cousin, Cassandra, who talked with me about why the family paid $3,000 (since refunded) for this message, and their reaction to its removal (as well as the removal of this banner over the Center Street pedestrian bridge near 108th):
A Facebook post from a young Omaha woman named Malia pointed out that a billboard for the man killed by Jake Gardner, James Scurlock, was allowed to be displayed in Omaha for weeks, noting: "Basic human decency and empathy can acknowledge that both of these men losing their lives was a tragedy. But the difference is that one billboard was approved by the very loud, very obnoxious “woke” mob of Omaha, and one was not. It seems that this insufferable minority gets to dictate, yet again, whom is worthy of public space for family and friends to grieve, remember, and celebrate; and whom is not."
She continued: "It’s a sad day in America when a private business can no longer engage in transactions without fear of retaliation by the “woke mob”. It’s an even sadder day when those businesses allow themselves to be intimidated by that same loud, obnoxious, insufferable minority."