MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A petition created by University Of South Alabama nursing student Caroline de Freitas, has garnered more than 300 signatures online as of Monday.
De Freitas said about the same amount of support has been inked onto a paper petition. De Freitas said the death of 18-year-old Gil Collar has inspired her to share the story and create the petition on Change.org.
De Freitas wants to prevent incidents like this from happening again. She believes USA should develop protocol on using non-lethal weapons. Especially when dealing with someone under the influence of drugs.
"Really what we are trying to do is establish protocol or best practices for law enforcement on campus for dealing with mental health crisis... and that would include a drug-induced crisis as well," said de Freitas.
Collar, a freshman at USA, was shot and killed by a campus police officer after Collar charged the officer a number of times.
Investigators believe the freshman was on LSD at the time of the shooting.
According to the petition page on Change.org, the petition requests officials do the following:
- Establish protocol for responding to a mental health or drug-induced emergency using less lethal methods;
- train campus law enforcement in evidence based crisis intervention techniques, as well as less lethal weapons and equipment; and
- establish procedures for recognizing and responding to emergency situations and publish those procedures in the student and faculty handbooks.
The petition has caught the attention of USA president, Gordon Moulton. In an email response to de Freitas, Moulton said in part:
"The University seeks to continuously improve all aspects of its operations and I appreciate your personal investment of time on this issue. As we move forward following the completion of this external review, I hope you will be available to participate in discussions at some point to offer your perspective.
Thank you again for your concern and involvement during this challenging time for the University of South Alabama family."
De Freitas says she is going to continue collecting signatures until she meets with President Moulton.
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