Family of non-binary university student killed by campus police to receive $1 million payout
Family of non-binary Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz, who was killed by campus police while in the middle of a mental health crisis, will receive a $1 million settlement.
Schultz, 21, a fourth-year student who was intersex, non-binary and bisexual and was head of the school’s Pride Alliance, was killed in September, 2017.
Four campus police officers responded that night when a 911 caller reported that Schultz was “skulking around” carrying a knife and “might have a gun”.
Schultz approached the officers, and appeared to tell them to shoot. One officer told them that “nobody wants to hurt” them”, and another told them to “relax”.
But as Schultz continued to advance, one of the officers, Tyler Beck, 23, fired and killed them with a single shot to the heart.
After their death, a multi-utility tool with a small blade was found on the ground, and there was no gun to be seen.
In 2019, Schultz’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and Georgia Tech, pointing out that Beck had received no training in crisis intervention, and stating: “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.”
Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard later announced that Beck would not face any criminal charges.
Scout Schultz’s family hope their ‘life will stand for change’
However, Georgia Tech has made changes since Scout Schultz’s death.
According to Project Q Atlanta, the university has assigned $1 million to mental health and wellness initiatives for LGBT+ students, has awarded Schultz’s degree posthumously to their family, and now requires all campus police officers to carry tasers as well as guns and complete 40 hours of crisis intervention training.
The university has also agreed to pay Schultz’s family $1 million in civil court.
In a statement, their family said: “We are hopeful that the university’s example of caring effort will be replicated nationwide.
“Students have let us know the LGBTQIA community is often overlooked and we hope these positive changes continue and that Scout’s life will stand for change.”