University of South Alabama Officials and Campus Law Enforcement: Develop Protocol Using Nonlethal Methods
In the early hours of Saturday, October 6th a campus police officer in Mobile, Alabama shot and killed Gil Collar, an 18-year-old freshman, after Gil pounded on the windows of the campus police headquarters. Gil was naked and unarmed.
Before being shot Gil had allegedly tried to bite a girl’s arm and scuffled with people in cars. Media reports say that Gil may have been under the influence of the hallucinogen LSD after attending a music festival with friends.
According to media reports, the parents have forgiven the officer who did the shooting, but they hold the university policies to blame.
"The family asked me to let you know this. Regardless of what happened they forgive the officer. They are praying for him. They realize he is having a difficult time also," said the family’s attorney. "They do very strongly at this point blame the University of South Alabama for the manner in which the officers are trained.”
According to the family’s attorney when Gil went to student orientation, the chief of campus security made a presentation to families and assured parents they would do all they could to keep their children safe.
That didn’t happen.
Gil’s death was a tragedy for the Collar family, the police officer and his family, and the entire University of South Alabama community. This tragedy might have been prevented if the campus police department had a training program for officers on how to deal with people who are on drugs or are mentally ill.
This petition is to request that the University of South Alabama officials and law enforcement collaborate to
· establish protocol for responding to a mental health or drug-induced emergency using less lethal methods;
· train campus law enforcement in evidence based crisis intervention techniques, as well as less lethal weapons and equipment; and
· establish procedures for recognizing and responding to emergency situations and publish those procedures in the student and faculty handbooks.
By making these requests we hope to preserve the safety of students and law enforcement alike. It is our sincere hope that these requests are acted upon in order to avoid any future occurrences that may result in a student’s death.
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