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Justice Gone Wrong: Trevis Austin

Updated on February 18, 2013
Trevis Austin
Trevis Austin

Here are the Stats

  • Name: Trevis Austin
  • Occupation: University of South Alabama Campus Police Officer
  • Crime: (No Charges Filed)
  • Sentence: (No Charges Filed)
  • *Civil Case Pending

Trevis Austin is the campus police officer whose bright idea it was to shoot and kill a completely naked and totally unarmed, 18 year old college freshman instead of utilizing pepper spray or a baton; both of which Officer Austin had readily at his disposal.

Gilbert Thomas Collar was an 18 year old University of South Alabama freshman. According to his friend, Colgan Meanor, Gil Collar was a mild mannered young man who was loving and loved to make people smile.

It has been said that Gil Collar was high on LSD following a concert at the time he was shot and killed by Trevis Austin. It could have been that Collar took the drugs on his own, and it could have been that someone slipped him the drug.

Regardless, a university spokesman claims that the officer was justified in killing the young man because of his behavior toward Austin. However, surveillance video relays a completely different story.

Gil Collar
Gil Collar

Here are the facts as we know them thus far:

  1. In the predawn hours of an October 2012 morning, Gil Collar walked up to the campus police station and then walked away.
  2. Collar returned to the police station seconds later and then began pounding on a glass window.
  3. He then retreated from the police station just as Officer Austin walks out of the police station with his gun drawn and pointed at Collar.
  4. Collar held out both Arms with his palms facing the officer, and the two moved into the yard.
  5. 30 seconds later, the camera shows Gil Collar falling to his knees as he is shot to death by Officer Trevis Austin.

Lawyers for the Collar family state the video shows Collar never got closer than 4 feet of the officer, and he never tried to reach out and grab the officer or his weapon. But yet, campus police chief Zeke Aull stated Officer Austin acted accordingly due to Collar's "aggressive" behavior (WHAT?????).

As of the date of the publishing of this hub, no criminal charges have been filed against Trevis Austin. He still has his job and the support of the University of South Alabama, but he has been suspended from duty.

The Family's Response

The family of the slain young man has stated that they hold no ill will toward Austin, instead they blame the university for not properly training their officers.

Collar's parent's filed a wrongful death suit (civil suit) against the university, but a judged dismissed the suit citing the school is exempt. However, Officer Trevis Austin and Police Chief Aull are not exempt from being sued separately...

What Do YOU Think?

Should Trevis Austin be held liable for the Wrongful Death of Gil Collar?

See results

Public Opinion

Some people are upset because the case of this fallen young man has not garnered the amount of attention of the Trayvon Martin case. Indeed, when I have discussed this case with friends and family members, they had never even heard of the incident.

Of course, many people feel that the case has not garnered the same amount of attention because Collar was young white male.

Still others are upset because they believe that this is yet another instance of police brutality and more evidence that the "Brothers in Blue" always stick together and do not hesitate to cover for each other.

Unfortunately, there's probably a bit of truth in all of these suppositions and either way, it's just not right.

One thing is for sure, everyone seems to be united about the following question:

Gil Collins was stark naked, and clearly completely unarmed, standing at 5"7 inches and weighing only 137 pounds... exactly how much of a threat could the boy have been to a police officer who was armed three times over?

Gil Collar's Mother & Sister
Gil Collar's Mother & Sister


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    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      It is so good seeing you write such thoughtful hubs. Looking forward to read more.

    • profile image

      debora boston 4 years ago

      As I personally whatched Gill gill grow up into a young man in these times, he was an insparation to many young people in school, sports, and church! His parents should be very proud! I pray for his family daily!

    • profile image

      Student at WHS 4 years ago

      His last name is Collar not Collins... (Last paragraph)

    • profile image

      Tish MacInnis 4 years ago

      If a student is enrolled in school, lives on campus is not the school responsible??

    • profile image

      heiny 4 years ago

      One of the people Gil Collar attacked dragged him with a car until he fell to the pavement. Another was a football player who punched him repeatedly in the face. The teenager must have been swollen and bloody when he went to the police.

    • profile image

      heiny 4 years ago

      The student pounded on the windows and could not break the glass. Austin must have looked out the window from the safety of the police station and seen a naked unarmed college student. Austin drew his gun planning on shooting the student. Austin's defense for not switching to pepper spray or baton is he could not get one of them out and hold a handgun at the same time. Austin also had a radio. He could have stayed out of reach and observed the student until backup arrived and kept in radio contact. The student was naked and Austin was threatening him with bodily harm. It is human nature to take a protective stance when vulnerable. They say the student was on drugs. Austin was not tested for drugs or alcohol. Gil Collar allegedly attacked other people that night, but they all managed to fend him off with using deadly force or suffering bodily harm.