LSD Mentioned in Naked Shooting Case
When a campus police officer shot and killed a naked man at the University of South Alabama, questions immediately arose about the use of excessive force – after all, how do you justify shooting someone who is not only unarmed, but unclothed?
Part of the puzzle was figuring out how an otherwise exemplary student could “go wild” and threaten an officer. Reports are now alleging the student, Gil Collar, was on LSD at the time.
LSD can cause odd behavior
LSD is not noted as causing aggression, but it would explain the bizarre behavior exhibited by the young man. Video footage mentioned in the press, but not released to the public, shows Collar “nude and covered in sweat” chasing the police officer outside of the station. The officer retreated and shot when the young man caught up to him. The student ignored warnings and the gun. Collar was shot in the chest and killed.
Police are still investigating the incident, and even if Collar was on LSD at the time, questions will remain. Critics want to know why other means were not used before a gun. Typically, police will have at their disposal pepper spray or a Taser as less-than-lethal options when confronting a combative person.
Others point out that violence is not an expected reaction to LSD, and the officer should have waited for backup before going out to talk to Collar. At the time, the doors to the station were locked and the student was outside banging on them. The officer did call for backup but decided to go out before others arrived.
Drug dealer could face charges
If the use of LSD is confirmed, whoever gave the drug to Collar will face charges that could range from controlled substance charges to a murder charge. Since distribution of LSD is a felony, any subsequent act associated with that crime is automatically linked to the first.
The incident is reminiscent of recent reports about bizarre behavior after the ingestion of bath salts. Psychosis can be a consequence of drugs that severely alter brain function.
The tragedy remains
The courts will have to decide if the shooting was justified. The campus police will have to decide if they will alter their policies about what actions a single officer should take before getting backup. But the tragedy remains – a young man is dead. It doesn’t much matter who ultimately gets the blame — the drug dealer, the cops, or Collar himself — the sad fact is that a young man has died just as he was starting his life.