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Parents of non-binary student shot by police are suing for wrongful death

Lily Wakefield September 13, 2019
(Facebook/GT Progressive Student Alliance)

Scout Schultz. (Facebook/GT Progressive Student Alliance)

The parents of non-binary, intersex student Scout Schultz, who was shot dead by campus police in 2017, are suing the school and the officer for wrongful death.

Schultz, a fourth-year student and president of Georgia Teach’s LGBT+ society, was killed on the night of September 16 2017 during what their family says was a mental health crisis.

Five campus police officers responded to a report from a 911 caller who said that Schultz, 21, was “skulking around” carrying a knife and “might have a gun on his[sic] hip”.

Video footage of the incident shows Schultz advancing in the direction of the police.

One officer shouts: “Come on man, drop the knife.”

Schultz appears to respond: “Shoot me!”

An officer tells them: “Nobody wants to hurt you, man,” while another says: “Relax.”

They continue to tell them to drop the weapon, but as the student continues to advance, one of the officers shoots them.

A multi-tool weapon was found on the ground near them, with a short blade. No gun was found.

(Facebook/Scout Schultz)
(Facebook/Scout Schultz)

The officer who shot and killed Scout Schultz received no crisis intervention training, lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit filed by the family on Wednesday, September 11, claims that the officer who shot Schultz, Tyler Beck, 23, had received no training in crisis intervention.

According to CNN, the lawsuit states that other officers “remained calm and followed standard de-escalation techniques without initiating physical force directed” at Schultz, but Beck “did not de-escalate and instead used physical force”.

The lawsuit says: “Schultz’s death was the result of Georgia Tech’s and the state of Georgia’s failure over time to properly train their personnel to act in such a way as to prevent the exclusion of persons such as Schultz from the safety to which all students were entitled on the campus of Georgia Tech.”

In a news conference, the family’s attorney L Chris Stewart said: “It was preventable, it should never have happened and it was a tragedy.”

Content warning: this video of the shooting contains graphic scenes. 

More: Georgia, intersex, non-binary, wrongful death

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