The intersection of the United States’ obsession with guns and U.S. police officers’ ever-increasing affinity for deadly force claimed another life this past week in a terribly tragic fashion.
In an incident last Saturday night at Georgia Tech University, campus police officers were called with reports of an individual with a knife and a gun. That person was 21 year old Scout Schultz, a campus LGBTQ rights activist, who served as head of the campus Pride Alliance and identified as bisexual, non-binary, and intersex.
Individuals with sexual orientations that do not match those of the majority of the population often suffer from mental health ailments thanks to being ostracized, and that is what appears to have been the case in Schultz’s situation.
In a video captured by a witness, the victim can be heard shouting “Shoot me!” at officers about a minute before an officer, no doubt desperately unprepared for this kind of situation, shot Schultz.
An officer shouted out to Schultz, “Nobody wants to hurt you,” but at least one officer on the scene was not on board with that characterization of the situation. After Schultz walked towards officers with what turned out to be a small pocketknife, an officer shot Schultz once. Schultz crumpled to the ground and later died at a local hospital.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is leading an inquiry into the incident; the New York Daily News states that it’s unclear when Georgia Tech officers were last involved in a shooting.
Scout’s mother told the same publication that “she and her husband were considering legal options.”
The organization Scout helped lead — their campus’ Pride Alliance — released a statement on Sunday reading, in part:
‘Scout always reminded us to think critically about the intersection of identities and how a multitude of factors play into one’s experience on Tech’s campus and beyond.’
President Trump, for his part, has literally encouraged police brutality. At a speech delivered to members of law enforcement in New York earlier this year, the president was vivid in his description of the way he feels officers should rough up suspects, encouraging them to bang suspects’ heads against patrol car doors
Watch a video report on the incident — including a clip of eyewitness video — below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.