Video of Alabama student Gil Collar’s confrontation with police shown to media, not public: details

October 11, 2012

In this day and age, they show it to the media, but not the public to “preserve” evidence? That’s a strange decision that makes no sense.

Via confrontation lasted less than 3 minutes | Fine. Here’s one description below. WaPo is saying Collar appeared “calm” before he was shot: “Video shows naked Alabama college student calm moments before he’s fatally shot by officer”

Surveillance camera footage from the University of South Alabama shows in detail the two-minute long confrontation that led to the shooting death of Gil Collar at the hands of a USA police officer.

The video shows Collar, 18, approaching the locked door of the USA police station at 1:23 a.m. When he’s unable to open it, he leaves for one minute before coming back and banging on one of the windows on the building, apparently using all his strength.

He hits the window six times, throwing his arm back behind him and changing his posture in an apparent attempt to use the strength in his legs.

Completely naked, Collar then walks away from the police station and out of frame.

At 1:24 a.m., footage shows USA police officer Trevis Austin, 27, come out of the station with his gun drawn.

According to deputies, Austin had been working on a report at his desk when Collar hit the station’s windows. He had set his lapel camera to charge mode and not recording, officials said.

By the time Austin came out of the building, the video shows Collar had moved to the grassy area in front of the police station. When Austin appears, Collar immediately moves toward him.

Austin starts backing away, moving parallel to the building and Stadium Boulevard.

For a few seconds, Collar advances on Austin, moving into various fighting poses. When the pair hit the grass on the other side of the police station, Austin moves toward Stadium Boulevard in an attempt to move back down the building.

It’s around here where details in the video become hazy.

Only 30 seconds after Austin responds to Collar hitting the station windows, he fires the fatal shot at the freshman. Austin is no long in frame when the shooting occurs, but Collar clearly falls onto the grass.

A USA police dispatcher, who was inside the building during the confrontation, runs in front of the building as the shot rings out.

At around the same time, backup arrives in the form of another officer. At this point, the trio is on the grass in front of the station. Collar gets up immediately after being shot and moves towards the officers again, taking him out of frame.

“It’s pretty obvious [that the shot didn’t stop him],” said Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran.

The officers regroup and move back into frame with their backs towards the station. Collar runs between then before collapsing on the ground again.

A third officer arrives on scene moments later.

The whole video, from when Collar initially tries to get into the police department to when he’s shot lasts for only one minute and 52 seconds. When you factor in the time it took for the third officer to arrive and the scene to settle, the video lasts two minutes and 49 seconds.

Cochran said the video is evidence of just how fast the situation escalated.

Since Austin came out of the police station with his gun drawn – as Cochran said he believes any officer would – the length of the confrontation puts in question whether Austin had the time to holster his gun and grab a non-lethal weapon.

“Don’t jump to the conclusion that this officer had an opportunity to use all his equipment,” Cochran said.

According to Keith Ayers, public relations officer for USA, all campus police officers are issued pepper spray and batons. However, officers do not have Tasers.

Reporters were shown surveillance video by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office today. No one was allowed to take pictures or record the video.

Cochran said the department will not be releasing the video publicly  for fear of tainting the evidence. Via confrontation lasted less than 3 minutes |


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  1. Janet says:

    Sounds pretty fishy to me. It sounds like the “officer” didn’t take the time to call for backup, if this happened as fast as the video shows, so he took it upon himself to decide that this naked teenager, who had tried to get in the building through the door but couldn’t, deserved to die. We will never know what was in Gil’s mind because of this murderous cop, who is going to get away with cold-blooded murder.

  2. Patty says:

    It sounds more like the kid realized that he needed help and thought that the police station would be the place to go. His friends let him down and so did the police officer who took his life.

    • Pat says:

      No, it sounds more like the kid was having a bad trip and didn’t know much of anything. But it’s for certain when he decided to take the LSD, he knew the possible consequences and chose to do it anyway. If there was any “letting down”, it was by this kid against himself.

      • Margie says:

        How do you know he took LSD. The toxicology report isn’t back and how do you know one of his so called friends didn’t slip him something.If you had a child you wouldn’t be so quick to judge.

    • Norma Jean says:

      I agree with you Patty.
      It seems like through all of the haze from WHATEVER drug he took, somewhere in his mind, he knew something wasn’t right and going to the police station was the only thing he knew to do. If he did indeed take LSD, he may have been temporarily “trapped”. By that, I mean that he may be thinking one thing but his body is telling or doing another. Same goes for Bath Salts, meth and other drugs.
      Regardless; In the end this is a terrible incident that occurred which could have & should have been avoided.

  3. tommy says:

    Hold your judgement on the officer. This is a good officer and good person. While a tragedy, no doubt, the truth will out! The student made a BAD and DEADLY decision. Remember the 60’s and 70’s? Oh wait, the opinionated people probably weren’t born yet! All good officers put their lives on the line daily for pennies to look after and protect stupidity. When it comes down to a acid tripping dummy or the officer, or all the others on campus he was protecting from GIL COLLAR, the officer did what he had to do. If you haven’t been in his shoes, SHUT UP.

    • BP says:

      You need to keep reading how is a naked 5’7” 140pd naked boy a threat? drugged or not this officer should have waited for back up! This is defiantly a tragedy and could have been avoided in so many ways! and he in fact was carrying a baton and pepper spray what made him decide that a gun was the best way to approach? Campus police have way to much power. Please justify these actions? you can’t!

      • Pat says:

        Are you for real? You must be the most naive person in the world if you think size enters the equation when someone is high on drugs.

    • corey bianchi says:

      Gil Collar was my friend and you dont know him and you dont even know if thats what he took or if he knew he took so wait till you have all the information before you start judging people. and know matter how you put it he had a family who all miss him and if it was somebody you knew you would feel the same way i do.

    • khfasdkjlfh says:

      He wasn’t protecting anyone from anything! He was sitting in his guard not doing shit.

  4. jason says:

    I agree with you tommy the teenager had already attacked two people in a car where he attempted to bite a woman. my father is a cop he has served on the drug task force and homicide these cops have a lot to process in mere seconds and must rely on there training and im sure the officer feels awful about the outcome but hindsight is 20/20 and if u have never had to make split second life altering decisions u shldnt dwn the police, they alone stand between us and the scum of the earth every day and night and do the best they can to keep us safe and catch pure hell when they have to there jobs and someone gets hurt

    • BP says:

      Please we are talking about Campus police. They need to remember that these are just stupid kids. I repeat KIDS!

      • Pat says:

        Only your parents excuse you from threatening behavior on the grounds of being a kid or stupid. The world out here does not. We don’t know you. We don’t know you’re the greatest thing since dirt like your mother does, and that you wouldn’t hurt a fly if it wasn’t for these pesky drugs in your system. We only know our safety is being threatened and since the will to survive is ingrained in all of us, you’re going down unless you get your a** out of here real fast!

  5. Nik says:

    Just as people don’t know what the officer was going through, no one knows what Gil was going through. You didn’t know him so you don’t know what he was like. One ill-advised situation doesn’t define who he was or who he’ll be remembered as, although it did cost him his life. No one will ever truly know what happened because he’s gone. Some people should think about both sides of the situation before blatantly disrespecting his name as well as his family.

    • BP says:

      I actually do know the family and know that Gil was going through a depression from recently loosing a friend, he was a good kid, this was probably his first time doing LSD. What a shame. I would like to think that he was going for help. My heart aches for the family.

    • Pat says:

      Unfortunately, Gil’s life intersected with that of this officer at a moment when Gil was high on drugs and acting menacing. On the other hand, the officer was at his job and at his appointed work station. Gil caused his own death. When you advance on an armed officer in a threatening way, he is not going to say, “Are you having a bad day, son? Can I get you a Tylenol?” When law enforcement is armed, you’d better make a split-second decision to assume a submissive position. You can talk about what’s going down in your life after that, but do not advance on the officer. Not if you value your life.

      • rafa says:

        Police should always try to avoid confrontation, moreover when they’re generally better armed and equipped to restore peace. When a coward insecure person is given a weapon, we have trouble.

  6. TPF says:

    Unless the kid was armed with a pipe, or a knife, or a piece of wood there was no reason to use deadly force. LAPD doesn’t even do that with dudes hopped up on PCP.

  7. Tyson Wether says:

    It sounds like the officer did his job, shouldn’t show up naked to a gun fight.