Georgia Tech to pay family of slain LGBTQ student $1 million

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The family of Georgia Tech Pride Alliance president Scout Schultz, slain by campus police in 2017, settled with the university this week. Tech officials agreed to pay the family $1 million in civil court.

The university fired the officer who shot Schultz, but he faced no criminal charges. In 2019, Former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard decided not to pursue charges against former officer Tyler Beck, a rookie who was 23 at the time of the killing.

During a mental health breakdown, Shultz reportedly urged campus police to shoot him and walked “in a menacing way” toward four officers who told him to stop.

In the lawsuit filed in 2018, the family alleged that while three officers tried to de-escalate the situation, Beck used excessive, deadly force.

Schultz was an engineering student with a 3.9 grade-point who identified as nonbinary and bisexual. Protests erupted over their death, including at least one vigil that was marred by violence that played out live on social media.

Scout Schultz marched in the Atlanta Pride parade as a leader of the Georgia Tech Pride Alliance. (Photo by Matt Hennie)

Lasting impact and Schultz legacy

The university made several moves in the wake of Schultz’s killing, according to the AJC. It awarded Schultz’s degree posthumously to their family and expanded its LGBTQ Resource Center. It also allotted $1 million to LGBTQ student mental health and wellness initiatives.

The university now requires all officers to complete 40 hours of Crisis Intervention training. Every officer also carries a taser in addition to a gun to provide a “less lethal” option during incidents.

Family attorneys noted those policy changes upon announcing the civil settlement.

“We are hopeful that the university’s example of caring effort will be replicated nationwide,” the family statement said. “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.”

Georgia Tech also reacted to the settlement.

“The recent settlement between Scout’s family and the Georgia Department of Administrative Services gives us a moment to reflect again on ways Georgia Tech can better support all members of the campus community,” the university statement said.

“While we’ve significantly increased campus mental health resources and well-being programs over the last four years, we are reminded today of the importance of continued work in this area,” the statement added.

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