Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gil Collar, Nude Teen Killed in AL,
Remembered in San Francisco

On Thursday evening, a dozen nudists and gays staged a half-hour vigil for Gil Collar, the Alabama teenager killed by a cop last weekend while naked, at Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro district. The historic and magnificent Castro Theatre's marquee served as our backdrop, and a beacon of light and hope for LGBT people and nudists around the globe.

A sprinkling of raindrops didn't stop us from displaying posters of Collar, talking to passersby about his death, and making shout-outs for him. Some of the shout-outs included, "We remember Gil", "Justice for Gil" and "Stop harassing nudists".

Nudist leader Mitch Hightower, pictured, shared this statement before the vigil, expressing the sentiments of many nudists and their friends and supporters:

It is the second worst nightmare of many nudists that I know to be violently attacked while naked.  Shooting someone who is naked and unarmed is murder, even if it happened at the hands of the police.  For those of us that are parents, the first worst nightmare would be facing the loss of a child under any circumstances.  Many of the nudists feel it could have been any one of us that were shot here in SF, especially because of the hostile environment created by Supervisor Scott Wiener and his ridiculous headline-grabbing nudity ban legislation.

Longtime nudist George Davis, who may run against Wiener when he's up for reelection, holds a remembrance poster for Collar and the round stickers on his jacket and hat, which all of us wore on our clothing, say "Remember Gil Collar".

After the vigil, we planted our remembrance posters in the planters of Jane Warner Plaza. We added our voices to the chorus of Gil Collar's friends and family members, and all fair-minded Alabamans, demanding justice for this teenager who was killed by University of Southern Alabama police officer while naked.

Many thanks to everyone who made it to vigil and helped send a message of acceptance for nude people everywhere.

(Photo credit for all images: Bill Wilson. Please credit him when using any of his photographs.)

1 comment:

Stephen R. Stapleton, Sacramento, CA said...

"Shooting someone who is naked and unarmed is murder, even if it happened at the hands of the police."

Not necessarily. While I agree the incident is horrible and tragic, for a killing to be murder, one need prove the killing was premeditated (that is done with intent and with malice aforethought) or was an act one that is inherently dangerous to human life.

Thus, if the gun went off accidentally and the local police policies allow the officer to draw his gun, the element of malice would not be present, making the killing manslaughter, not murder.

Additionally, one may use deadly force in defense of one's self or others. In this case, the authorities claim Collar had threatened the officer. I am not sure what a naked youngster could threaten an officer with such that deadly force would be necessary in defense (likely wagged his weeny at him, the old homosexual panic claim), but should the claim by the office be substantiated (unlikely, but possible), the killing would be homicide, not murder.

Thus, I am not sure once can say conclusively the act was murder until more facts are shown, but the act was grotesque.