Police, protesters clash after vigil for slain Georgia Tech student

Pauline Gross
September 20, 2017

After the original vigil had ended, a "different group" chanting anti-police slogans began to march through the Atlanta campus, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting's Stephen Fowler.

What started out as a peaceful vigil on September 18 for Scout Schultz-the student shot by police two days prior in what looks to have been a suicide by cop-turned violent after about 50 protesters marched on the Georgia Tech police department.

Scout Schultz, a fourth-year computer engineering student in the USA state of Georgia, did not pose an immediate danger to police and instead needed help, but was gunned down nonetheless, according to his family. The officers are heard encouraging Schultz to drop a knife on several occasions. After the shooting, investigators found three suicide notes in the student's dorm room, the agency said.

Schultz's parents also say non-lethal tactics could have been used to subdue their child, such as Tasers or mace. The university has not specified whether the three individuals are students.

Monday night, Georgia Tech officials urged students to stay indoors because of violent protests on campus.

The board of directors of Georgia Tech Pride Alliance, for which Schultz served as president for the past two years, released a statement saying the group was deeply saddened by Schultz's death and hailing Schultz's work and dedication on behalf of the organization as an inspiration.

On Monday morning, a news conference was held where the family's attorney, Chris Stewart, said they plan to file a civil lawsuit.

The Georgia Institute of Technology, which Shultz attended, said some 50 people were involved in the demonstrations, and it characterized them as "violent".

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Footage of the moment Schultz was shot has emerged online.

Schultz, 21, was a gay rights activist on Georgia Tech's campus, where he headed the university's Pride Alliance.

"From the video you can see Scout is in the middle of the mental breakdown and telling the officers to shoot", he said. And since January 2015, US police have killed at least 392 people who were armed with knives, blades or other edged weapons - 102 deaths this year alone, including Schultz. No gun was recovered, but a multipurpose tool with knife was found on the scene.

A photo obtained from another video recording published by the Journal-Constitution shows what appeared to be an unopened utility or pocket knife lying on the ground after the shooting.

The action turned violent, with images on social media showing a police vehicle burnt out with its windshield smashed, and officers making a number of arrests. "Nobody wants to hurt you", one officer said.

"Come on, man, drop the knife", one officer says. After ignoring numerous requests to drop the knife the 21-year-old was holding and repeatedly walking toward officers while yelling, "Shoot me!"

But Scout's death stunned Lynne and Bill Schultz, who described Scout as "a very loving and caring and empathetic person". Losing a student, friend, colleague, and campus leader is one of the most hard experiences that any of us will have to face. "And it should be troubling to all people to think that a student that was having challenges was met with this level of deadly force".

Other reports by GizPress

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