We recently received a tip about a 18-year-old University of South Alabama student who was shot and killed by a campus police officer. We were asked why we have not covered this story. The short answer is that this story is not a new one, but one that broke two years ago, in October of 2012. But in the wake of the outrage surrounding the Michael Brown verdict not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, many have asked where the outrage over this story is…
Well, they’re right. Every story of any unarmed citizen gunned down by rogue police officers deserves public outrage and attention. But the reality is that if we do not bring these stories to the attention of the nation through our own organic efforts (sharing, commenting, “liking” and tweeting), then many of the mainstream, corporate media sources will not find the stories to be discussion-worthy. That is the sad reality: the mainstream media will pick up story after story from independent, alternative media like Counter Current News, once they see the stories being shared widely. That was certainly with our breaking of the John Crawford shooting before any local or national media had published a story on it, or the shooting of Tamir Rice last weekend for that matter.
Two years ago, when Gil Collar was shot and killed by a campus police officer, there simply was not the “viral buzz” about the story, and thus it never got picked up. But his story is no doubt an important one that needs and deserves to be told.
At the time of the shooting, Gil was using LSD and exhibiting what officers described as erratic behavior around the police station on campus.
The Mobile County sheriff’s department released a two-minute video of Gil, from a security camera mounted on the campus police station at the university. It recorded almost all of the incident including the shooting.
Officers said that Gil was acting “aggressively” in the video, pounding on the window, walking away, then returning.
That’s when Officer Trevis Austin came outside with his gun drawn and aimed at Collar who had his “arms outstretched and palms open,” even according to Officer Austin.
Jere Beasley, the attorney for the Collar family, said, “I can tell you without reservation nothing we saw in the videotape justified the use of deadly force in this case.”
Just like in the case of so many other shootings of unarmed citizens, an Alabama grand jury refused to bring charges against Officer Austin, in spite of the heavy pressure from what the Washington Times called an “outraged” public.
Gil’s parents, Reed and Bonnie Collar, have filed a wrongful death suit in this case. Why hasn’t there been more outrage about this case, in spite of it being covered by a handful of mainstream print media outlets when it broke two years ago? The only answer is that outrage about stories like this is dependent on people like you.
Perhaps stories where unarmed African Americans are shot by police get more attention and generate more outrage than stories like this simply because they happen on an epidemic level. It is increasingly becoming a war on all people by the police, even if African Americans are disproportionately victimized by the police. If there are stories that do not get enough attention about oppression and injustice it is up to use to bring them to the nation’s attention, and even the attention of the world: this goes for all people, regardless of their skin tone or ethnic background.
(Article by Jackson Marciana)