Why Was A Naked 18-Year-Old Shot Dead By Police?
Gil Collar, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of South Alabama, was shot and killed by police early Saturday morning, October 6.
Since he was naked, with nothing in his hands, he clearly wasn’t armed. So why did a university police officer decide to shoot him?
That’s the question his family and friends are asking.
From CBS news:
A university spokesman said the 18-year-old was fatally wounded about 1:30 a.m. after an officer heard a bang on a window and went outside to investigate.
A statement issued by university spokesman Keith Ayers said Collar assumed a “fighting stance” and chased an officer before being shot. The officer tried to retreat numerous times to defuse the situation before opening fire, the school said.
Campus officials didn’t give any indication that Collar had a weapon when he was shot and his mother says she’s been told he never touched the officer who shot him.
“I have been told by someone involved in the investigation that the videotape shows my son never touched the police officer,” Bonnie Smith Collar told the Associated Press Monday.
Let me get this straight. This young man, fresh from high school, was murdered because he assumed a fighting stance and chased a police officer?
Oh, but it’s okay because according to The Associated Press (AP), he had taken LSD and was behaving erratically: the normally subdued student had taken the drug and was behaving in violent ways, such as attempting to bite a woman’s arm.
Video taken by a surveillance camera showed Collar nude and covered in sweat as he pursued the retreating officer more than 50 feet outside the building, ( Mobile County Sheriff Sam) Cochran said. Collar got within 5 feet of (Trevis) Austin and the officer fired once, striking the student in the chest, Cochran said.
Investigators are trying to determine who provided Collar with LSD and could charge that person with murder, Cochran said.
What? The person who may have supplied Collar with LSD is guilty of murder, but not the police officer that actually shot the student to death?
Will the police brutality never stop? Last July saw a couple of people shot to death by police in Anaheim; earlier in the year, police fatally beat a homeless man on the streets of Fullerton; on New Year’s Day 2009, the unarmed Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old father from Hayward, California, was shot dead by a BART police officer.
I am sick of reading these stories. Gil Collar was murdered by Trevis Austin for no reason; the officer is guilty of second-degree murder. Perhaps Collar was exhibiting erratic, even violent behavior, but he was stark naked, so there was no way for him to conceal a gun.
What about pepper spray, a baton, even a taser? It’s the idea of accelerating force: an officer should use force one step higher than his attacker. If it’s fists, then the officer uses hands. If it’s a knife, the officer can use mace or a baton. The only reason to use a firearm is for the officer to save his own life, or that of another potential victim. That wasn’t the case here.
Collar was a student at Wetumpka High School, where he is being remembered warmly as a popular student who loved to play sports, but didn’t boast about his accomplishments.
This young man has paid with his life for the mistake of taking LSD.
If you are outraged by yet another incident of police brutality, please sign our petition, demanding a full investigation into the murder of Gil Collar.
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