Ala. lawmaker wants changes following Gil Collar's death - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Ala. lawmaker wants changes following Gil Collar's death

Gil Collar Gil Collar

The University of South Alabama says a campus police officer was carrying pepper spray and a baton the night he shot and killed an unarmed freshman student, conflicting with earlier reports that he was armed only with a gun.

University spokesman Keith Ayers said Friday the officer was carrying all three weapons when he walked outside the police station to confront 18-year-old Gil Collar, who was naked when he banged on police department windows.

A copy of the university's weapons policy released to The Associated Press shows an officer's actions should be based on how much a suspect resists.

Now, a state lawmaker from Wetumpka, Collar's hometown, is calling for a change in the way university police in Alabama are trained. State Representative Barry Mask is pushing for policy change along with a set of standards for campus police statewide.

"We would just hope that there would be a review of all our universities and two-year campus securities and to review their protocols and their training and hopefully their inventory and availability of non-lethal equipment," Rep. Mask said. "We've got to make something good happen out of it.

Authorities describe Collar as being on LSD and acting aggressively that night, but he wasn't armed.

Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran says it's unclear whether the officer, identified as Trevis Austin, could have done anything other than shoot Collar because his gun was drawn. Austin is on leave while an investigation takes place.

A memorial service and prayer vigil was held for Collar's family on the campus of USA Friday evening.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. WSFA 12 News contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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