Dozens protest shooting of naked Alabama student

Associated Press Modified: October 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012
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An attorney for Collar's parents plans a news conference Thursday.

The Mobile County Sheriff's Office and district attorney are investigating the shooting and the case will be brought before a grand jury to decide whether the officer will face charges. On Thursday, investigators will show surveillance video from the shooting to the media.

Sheriff Sam Cochran said Tuesday that the video might answer some questions about the officer's actions. Cochran said Austin left the building with his weapon drawn and that police training teaches officers to secure their weapon at all times. Collar got too close to the drawn gun and Austin shot him in the chest when he came within five feet, he said.

Anne Glavin, chief of police at California State University at Northridge and president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, said most colleges that have police departments have policies concerning the use of deadly force that often are similar to the polices of local law enforcement agencies. She said she could not address details of the incident at the University of South Alabama.

"Every incident is different," she said. She added that campus police officers often have non-deadly options available to them, such as Tasers and pepper spray, "when they have time to use them."

Investigators have said they are working to determine how Austin obtained the LSD and they could charge the person who sold him the drugs in connection to his death.

Official explanations don't satisfy Betty Gartman, whose husband teaches sociology at the campus. Gartman joined protesters on Wednesday.

"Death is never an option and this shows the inadequacy of the police training," she said. "He was naked and he wasn't an eminent danger," she said.

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