On Sept. 16 on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, university police murdered Scout Schultz, a non-binary student and LGBTQ activist and leader. Schultz was suffering from depression, like many other non-binary and LGBTQ people in a society that does not recognize their humanity. This depression lead to an episode in which they were walking around a parking lot carrying a multi-tool.

The police responded to a concerned call about their behavior, but instead of de-escalating the situation or attempting to contact someone who could help, police chose to kill them. Video that was subsequently released of the moments leading up to Schultz’s death show that the  Georgia Tech Police Department, having Schultz surrounded in a position in which they posed a threat to no one, failed to de-escalate the situation and instead opted to shoot and kill.

All progressive and revolutionary people should demand justice for Scout Schultz and stand in solidarity with the students of Georgia Tech, both the LGBTQ community and those students who were arrested by GTPD during the protest on Sept. 18. Both the killing of Scout Schultz and the subsequent police reaction to the protest expose the reality that there is an epidemic of violence – including state violence – directed particularly against oppressed people including queer people and people with disabilities.

We stand together as a community to say we will not accept police terror and reaffirm our right to defend our humanity against the violence of the state.

Georgia Tech police have participated in the GILEE program (Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange), a program that sends Georgia law enforcement departments to Israel for training from Israeli police forces, notorious for their excessive and arbitrary uses of deadly force in their ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian people. The parallels between GTPD’s murderous actions again Schultz and those of Israeli forces against innocent Palestinians are chilling, and we stand with our
Palestinian brothers and sisters in knowing that the exchange of tactics between racist, capitalist police forces has deadly consequences for oppressed people in the U.S. and in Palestine. Thus, we demand the GILEE program be immediately disbanded.

Georgia Tech police do not carry tasers or conventional non-lethal weapons, and instead only carry firearms. While replacing their guns with non-lethal alternatives would be a step in the right direction, we know that the problem is not the nature of the weapons carried by law enforcement but the capitalist system itself that requires such brutal state repression to function, and reaffirm our commitment to overthrow this criminal system.

Scout Schultz’s activism and memory will forever remain in our spirits, and we express our deepest condolences to those acutely affected by their murder. We will not stop until justice is won.