On Monday night, a protest turned violent at Georgia Tech less than two days after a 21-year-old student was shot by police near the Curran Parking Deck on the west side of campus.
Here’s what you need to know about this situation.
Why were these people protesting?
Early Sunday morning, 21-year-old Scout Schultz confronted responding campus police with what appeared to be a knife. It’s believed Schultz was responsible for calling police to report a person with a gun. When police arrived at the scene, Schultz advanced on the officers and one of them fatally shot Schultz. Upon further investigation, it was determined Schultz was not holding a knife, but rather a multipurpose tool with no tools extended.
Schultz, who was the president of the school’s Pride Alliance, identified as nonbinary and intersex and preferred the pronouns “they” and “them” as opposed to “he” and “him.” Schultz had previously attempted suicide at least once, but Schultz’s parents said they had no reason to believe Schultz was still having issues.
Three suicide notes were found in Schultz’s dorm room, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles told the Associated Press in an email.
What events preceded the protest?
Monday night, a vigil was held on campus to honor the life of Schultz, and at the end of the vigil, an estimated 50 protesters marched to the office of the campus police department. Once they arrived, the protest turned violent, and Georgia Tech issued an alert to all students to shelter in place.
What damage was caused by the protest?
A police SUV was set on fire by a protester, or multiple protesters. Images and video were posted just before 10 p.m. that showed the vehicle engulfed in flames.
Was anybody hurt during the protest?
Yes. According to the AP, two police officers suffered minor injuries.
How many people were arrested at the protest?
According to university spokesman Lance Wallace, three people were arrested. They were charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer.
Has the family spoken publicly since Schultz’s death?
Several times. They first spoke Sunday, questioning the tactics used by police during the fatal encounter and asking why campus police are only equipped with guns and not pepper spray or stun guns, WSB-TV reported. Schultz’s parents also released a statement after an initial investigation revealed Schultz was not carrying a knife, and the multipurpose tool did not have any extended items.
Finally, as the protests turned violent Monday night, Schultz’s parents released a statement through their attorney urging all protesters to cease their violent behavior.
“Answering violence with violence is not the answer,” the statement read. “Our goal is to work diligently to make positive change at Georgia Tech in an effort to ensure a safer campus for all students.”Follow @Sean_Breslin