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Beasley Allen files lawsuit in death of student killed by campus police officer

Montgomery based law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Reed and Bonnie Collar, the parents of Gilbert Collar, a University of South Alabama (USA) student shot and killed on Oct. 6, 2012. The lawsuit names the University of South Alabama, campus police Officer Trevis Austin and campus police Chief Zeke Aull as defendants. Beasley Allen lawyers Jere Beasley, Cole Portis, and Ben Locklar will represent the Collar family, residents of Wetumpka, Ala. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, requesting that USA campus police officers be better trained and equipped to handle emergency situations and monetary damages.

Gil had been on campus as a student for approximately six weeks. In the early morning hours of Oct. 6, he went to the police station on the campus of USA, where he encountered campus police officer Trevis Austin. Gil Collar, who was naked and unarmed, did not touch Trevis Austin. Trevis Austin, during the encounter, was equipped with a baton and pepper spray. The officer violated the University’s own policy by using his service weapon first and without cause when he shot and killed Gil Collar. His actions also violated well-established national standards for security officers. The University had also failed to provide its officers with a taser as part of their equipment.

“Parents who entrust their children to the universities throughout our state, including the University of South Alabama, are entitled to expect that the university’s police officers have adequate training and equipment to perform their jobs in a way that reduces the risk of injury and death to students,” Beasley Allen Founding Shareholder Jere Beasley said. “This is a senseless tragedy that should never have happened. There were plenty of opportunities to restrain and help Gil without resorting to shooting him. The use of excessive force in this case clearly was not justified. It is our hope that this lawsuit will help prevent something like this from happening to any other student.”

Read the complaint.
Read the University of South Alabama Use of Force Policy.

Related news: Investigation into death of USA college student questions use of excessive force.

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