Shooting of Scout Schultz

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Shooting of Scout Schultz
Fulton County Georgia Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Atlanta Highlighted.svg
DateSeptember 16, 2017 (2017-09-16)
Location532 8th Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Participants4 Georgia Tech Police Department officers, including Tyler Beck
DeathsScout Schultz

On September 16, 2017, Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old student of the Georgia Institute of Technology, was shot once and killed by Tyler Beck, an officer of the Georgia Tech Police Department. Schultz was carrying a multitool and walked towards the police, asking them to shoot. The incident was followed by protests and civil unrest, which led to multiple arrests. Schultz's parents filed a wrongful death suit. The shooting was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In March 2020, it was announced that Tyler Beck would not face charges.

Background

Scout Schultz was born in Rockville, Maryland in 1995.[1][2][3] Schultz was born with hypospadias.[1] The Schultz family later moved to Lilburn, Georgia.[2][4] Schultz was a fourth year computer engineering major at Georgia Institute of Technology,[2][5] and expected to graduate a semester early according to their father.[3] Schultz was bisexual, nonbinary and intersex and used singular they pronouns.[6] Schultz was the president of Pride Alliance on campus.[5][4]

Schultz, who suffered from clinical depression, had spent time in counseling after attempting suicide by hanging in 2015.[7]

Shooting

Schultz, a 21-year-old student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, called 9-1-1 on September 16, 2017, around 11:17 p.m. Schultz said there was a suspicious person on campus with a knife and possibly a gun. Schultz gave a description matching Schultz's own appearance, saying that the person had long blond hair, a white t-shirt, and blue jeans, and said that the person might be intoxicated.[8][9]

Four police officers approached Schultz outside a dormitory on campus.[8][10] Schultz had a multitool, which included a small knife, but no gun.[9] According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the multitool's blade was not extended.[11] Schultz refused to drop the multitool and walked towards the police, with arms hanging down, while shouting "shoot me!"[2][12] Schultz was shot and shortly after was pronounced dead at the Grady Memorial Hospital.[8] The incident was captured on a cell-phone video.[12]

Three suicide notes were found in Schultz's dorm room.[9]

The police officer who shot Schultz was identified as Tyler Beck.[10] According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Beck was certified by the Georgia Peace Officer and Standards Training Council (POST) but had not undergone Crisis Intervention Training, which trains police on how to handle mentally ill suspects."[10] Shortly after the shooting, Beck was put on paid leave.[13]

Aftermath and reactions

Schultz's family attorney, Chris Stewart, said the police overreacted.[5] Stewart said the idea that the death was a "suicide by cop" did not justify what happened.[14] He also said, "The area was secured. There was no one around at risk."[6] Schultz's mother, Lynne Schultz, suggested the police should have used pepper spray or Tasers instead of gunning them down.[7] (According to a spokesman, Georgia Tech police are equipped with the former but not the latter.[9]) Scout's father, William Schultz, said at a news conference, "Why did you have to shoot? That's the only question that matters right now. Why did you kill my son?"[15]

G. P. "Bud" Peterson, the president of Georgia Tech, said the shooting was a "heart-wrenchingly painful time" for the university.[16] Despite Schultz not finishing senior year, Georgia Tech awarded them a diploma.[17]

The shooting was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.[7] In September 2018, with the investigation still on-going, the parents announced that they had grown frustrated with the lack of criminal charges.[17] Schultz's parents filed a wrongful death suit naming the university, Tyler Beck, and the Georgia Board of Regents in September 2019.[18]

In March 2020, the county's district attorney announced that Beck would not face charges, saying that, according to use-of-force experts, the shooting was justified.[14]

Vigil and protest

A peaceful vigil for Schultz was held on campus on September 18.[19]

Twenty minutes later, about 50 protesters marched through campus[20] while carrying a banner which read "Protect LGBTQ" and chanting "Justice Now".[19] The protest turned violent and a police car was set on fire.[21] Three people were arrested, one of them a Georgia Tech student.[13] They were charged with "inciting a riot and battery of an officer."[19] In the following weeks three more people were arrested for "misdemeanor obstruction of law enforcement."[22] Schultz's parents appealed for calm.[23]

On September 22, a teach-in and protest occurred at Georgia Tech, which led to the Student Center building being closed early at 3 p.m.[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Lieberman, Hallie (August 29, 2018). "The Trigger Effect". The Atavist Magazine (82). Archived from the original on September 1, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Georgia student Scout Schultz shot dead by Atlanta police". BBC News. September 18, 2017. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Selk, Avi; Shapiro, T. Rees (September 18, 2017). "'We have to seek justice for Scout': Parents of student killed by police at Georgia Tech speak out". The Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Selk, Avi (September 18, 2017). "Scout Schultz: LGBT activist shot dead by police at Georgia university". The Independent. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Georgia Tech Student With Knife Killed by Campus Police". Associated Press. September 18, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Georgia Tech police shoot LGBTQ student dead". The Guardian. September 18, 2017. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Boone, Christian (September 17, 2017). "AJC Exclusive: Mom of Georgia Tech student shot by police speaks out". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Atlanta, GA". Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017. September 17, 2017
  9. ^ a b c d Brumback, Kate (September 18, 2017). "911 call about suspicious man was made by Georgia Tech student killed by police, officials say". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Boone, Christian (September 19, 2017). "BREAKING: Listen to the 911 call in Georgia Tech shooting". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  11. ^ Boone, Christian. "New video of Georgia Tech shooting surfaces". Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Stack, Liam (September 18, 2017). "Georgia Tech Student Leader Is Shot Dead by Campus Police". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on August 21, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Bauer-Wolf, Jeremy (September 21, 2017). "Campus Roiled After Fatal Shooting". Inside Higher Ed. Archived from the original on September 21, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Georgia Tech officer who killed student won't face charges". AP NEWS. March 14, 2020. Archived from the original on March 14, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  15. ^ "Family seeks answers after Georgia Tech student killed by police". Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Gaffey, Conor (September 18, 2017). "SCOUT SCHULTZ: WHY DID GEORGIA POLICE SHOOT DEAD GEORGIA TECH LGBT STUDENT LEADER?". Newsweek. Archived from the original on September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Lauren Pozen, Family of tech student killed by campus police to sue university Archived April 1, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Wsbtv.com, 19 September 2018
  18. ^ Gawronski, Quinn. "Parents of Georgia Tech student shot dead by campus police file suit". Archived from the original on September 13, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c Simon, Darran (September 19, 2017). "Violence flares after quiet vigil for Georgia Tech student shot by police". CNN. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Protests after police shoot LGBT student". BBC News. September 19, 2017. Archived from the original on November 22, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  21. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (September 19, 2017). "Protests erupt on Georgia Tech campus after student is killed". CNN. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Georgia Tech Continues Misdemeanor Arrests Weeks After Fiery Protest | 90.1 FM WABE". 90.1 FM WABE. October 5, 2017. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  23. ^ "BREAKING: Vigil at Georgia Tech turns violent in aftermath of police shooting". ajc.com. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  24. ^ "As Campus Cheers On Ga. Tech Police, Some Struggle To Grieve | 90.1 FM WABE". 90.1 FM WABE. September 25, 2017. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
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