A vigil honoring Scout Schultz, a Georgia Tech student-activist who was killed by campus police on Saturday night, descended into chaos as protesters clashed with cops. Monday night’s vigil began as a peaceful gathering to honor Schultz, a prominent voice for the LGBTQ community on campus, but the demonstration turned violent when a smaller faction of protesters marched towards to police station, The Atlanta Journal-Constituion reported.
Just before midnight, Georgia Tech ordered its student to stay indoors as protests escalated. According to The AJC’s account, unidentified protesters torched a police car with a flare while surrounded by roughly 50 other vigil participants. Frustration over the responding police officer’s excessive use of force, especially given that Schultz was allegedly carrying the equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife, seems to have precipitated the chaos.
Videos shared on social media corroborate the report (some of the footage is disturbing):
Following the night of violent protests, Schultz’s parents released a statement encouraging students to remember their child peacefully. “We ask that those who wish to protest Scout’s death do so peacefully. 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.”
As of midnight Monday evening, the protesters had dispersed. Georgia Tech police have arrested three people and charged them with inciting a riot and battery of an officer.