Honestly….Who Shoots a Naked College Student?!?!
You know that something is sorely wrong when a college freshman at the University of South Alabama is shot and killed by campus police for being naked and acting “erratically”.
That’s the story, ladies and gentlemen! Police heard a loud banging noise on the window of the station this past Saturday at 1:23 a.m. When this esteemed campus policeman went out to investigate the strange sounds, said the school, “he was confronted by a muscular, nude man who was acting erratically.”
I’m just gonna’ go ahead and call bullshit right now. Gilbert Thomas Collar, 18, was a freshman at South ‘Bama, and from the picture on CNN, he looks pretty scrawny (Editor’s note: His mom released a statement that he was 5’7’’ and weighed 135 pounds. Those figures make Collar officially underweight according to the relevant national indexes).
Moreover, the dopey spokesperson for the university reiterated that this monster of a naked man kept charging at the officer despite many admonitions to stop.
Anyone who’s ever seen a movie with cops in it knows that the men in blue can’t just whip out their guns and shoot anyone for any reason. There’s a protocol. A checklist. A rising series of situations that dictate when and how it becomes appropriate for an officer to initiate deadly force.
What happened on Saturday was so far from being that type of situation, it’s disgusting.
While “erratic” behavior can sometimes (SOMETIMES) justify the use (SOMETIMES) of deadly force (SOMETIMES…meaning IN RARE OCCAISIONS), there must be erratic behavior combined with some perceived threat. And by perceived threat, I mean credible threat of death or great bodily harm. I’m trying to find what the credible threat was in the case of a naked freshman South ‘Bama student in a “challenge” stance. It seems more like a scene out of a strange John Waters movie.
When the police talk of “credible threat of death or great bodily harm,” what they usually mean is that a suspect is armed. So again, a judge putting himself in the shoes of the average police officer might note that in circumstances where a suspect is *armed*, is acting erratically, and has continually ignored admonitions to stand down, using a gun may be an appropriate means of subduing the suspect.
Compare: Gilbert Coller wasn’t armed. He didn’t have a gun. He didn’t have a knife. He didn’t have a bomb. HE DIDN’T HAVE UNDERWEAR! He was naked!! I don’t care if he was a Mixed Martial Arts champion. If you’re a cop, and you have a gun, even if you think the suspect is acting erratically, it is totally inappropriate to open fire against someone who is naked without first calling in for backup and trying to take him down, cuff him, and arrest him.
Campus police may not be the brightest lights on the force, but I am astounded at the stupidity and gun-happy hijinks of the unnamed officer that have contributed to the death of this young man with the rest of his life in front of him.
To the University of South Alabama: Shame on you. Lawyer up and settle this wrongful death case early. Because if this thing goes to trial, you’re gonna’ let your whole institution go bankrupt.
To those of us who are not campus police: Don’t act all erratic when you’re naked, banging on the windows of the police station. And be very, very concerned with what just happened in Mobile. This is tragedy. This is the very definition of senseless violence and death.