By Victoria Cortinas
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Emotions were high as parents, friends and peers of Robert Cameron Redus gathered on Broadway last Wednesday, Aug. 27, to demand justice and raise awareness for the slain honors student.
Those gathered at the rally in front of the University of the Incarnate Word where Redus was a student lifted signs high in the August heat, chanting “ UIW, do what’s right!”
And as drivers passed down Broadway with frequent nods or horn taps, the community support was evident.
Redus, 23, was fatally shot Dec. 6, 2013, by a UIW campus police officer, Cpl. Christopher Carter, just a few blocks north of campus. Carter reportedly attempted to arrest Redus on drunk driving charges, which is when Carter claims, a struggle ensued and Carter felt forced to shoot Redus.
Redus, who was shot five times, was unarmed that night, and had come from meeting with friends to celebrate the end of the semester. The investigation later showed Redus had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit, and traces of marijuana were found in his system at the time of his death. The Redus family has sued UIW, which in its answer is contending Carter followed protocol as a Texas law officer. No new information has surfaced in the case since it’s been turned over to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. After nine months, the case remains unresolved and Carter has been on administrative leave.
At the rally, protestors said there was no reason for Redus to have been killed that night.
Jonathan Guajardo, immediate past president of the Student Government Association and a frined of Redus, said the officer’s portrayal of Redus as the aggressor was “out of character.”
“If you had known Cameron, you would know that that was exactly the opposite of anything that he would ever do,” Guajardo said. “He was totally nonviolent.
“What we’re trying to do (at the rally) is bring it up in hopes that we can spur it onward,” Guajardo said.
With the flow of incoming freshmen, Guajardo said it is vital now to raise the awareness and clarify and put to rest any rumors that might be floating among new students.
When he was SGA president, Guajardo said he met with then-Police Chief Jacob Colunga to discuss reform to the campus police department to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. And although such changes have yet to be addressed by university administrators, Guajardo said students are still pushing for change..
“We’re trying to push for change and we’re trying to push for progress,” Guajardo said. “No student should ever have to be afraid of their campus police, or afraid to be on their campus. And what we’re trying to do is make sure that these changes happen.”
Current SGA President Stephen Lucke, who also attended the rally, said he is confident the University will do what is right.
“I hope that justice is served,” Lucke said. “I think that our community still has wounds that need to be healed and that’s something that as student body president, I want to help our community heal.”
Lucke explained SGA is currently discussing plans for monthly town hall meetings to spark discussion regarding these issues surrounding the case such as drunk driving, marijuana, and police brutality.
“Let us as students, let’s make a change,” Lucke said. “Let’s draft bills, write referendums, and take our stance on it and raise awareness.”