Thursday, September 18, 2014

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USA Students Protest Police Using Deadly Force Against Gil Collar
By Jessica Gertler


CBS 8 News is in Mobile where dozens of people remember the life of Gil Collar. He is the Wetumpka college student who was shot and killed by a University of South Alabama Police officer.

Dozens lined the street shouting their message loud and clear.

"When we started the group on Facebook, we didn't expect it to get as big as it did," says Joseph Varner who is the protest organizer.

On Saturday authorities say 18-year-old Gil Collar had taken LSD and threatened campus police officer Trevis Austin who then shot and killed Collar, who was unarmed at the time.

But Varner says deadly force could have been avoided.

"The campus rules prevent the police from having tasers and lethal weapons," says Varner. "We're here. We have a petition for people to sign it to try to change the rules to where they can have a non-lethal force and training, so that this situation never happens again."

But Varner's protest wasn't the only one on campus. Stephanie Lowe voiced her support for campus police.

"He wasn't in the right state of mind, and the officer put a stop to it. If the young man would have taken the gun and went on a rampage on campus, people would be asking where are the police," Lowe says.

Friends of collar says the incident was out of character.

"He wouldn't wish ill harm to anyone. Even to the cop, but we just don't want to have this situation happen again," says Collar's friend Tyler Kendrick.

Protesters are hoping they make a difference. Hoping for change.

"This is a college. This is a student. You just can't do this to kids," says protester Ben Jacobs.

The Sheriff's Office says collar's family is viewing the surveillance video Wednesday and then on Thursday, the media will have a chance to see it.

The Mobile County Sheriff's Office and the district attorney are investigating the shooting, and working to find out where Collar obtained the LSD.