(The AEGIS Alliance) – SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – An autistic boy, age 13, was shot multiple times by officers after his mother called the police department to help the boy while he was having a mental breakdown.
The boy’s mother Golda Barton contacted police to have the crisis intervention team (CIT) come out when her autistic son who has Asperger’s, Linden Cameron, began having intense separation anxiety because the mother will be starting to go back to work.
Police told Barton the CIT would “deescalate the situation using the most minimal force possible” at her Glendale neighborhood home in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Barton said that under five minutes after the police arrived she heard one of the officers yelling at the boy to “get on the ground,” and then several gunshots were fired at the boy. Police ended up shooting Linden Cameron several times that Friday night after the boy’s mother called to get assistance for his psychiatric emergency.
Golda Barton spoke to KUTV and said “He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.”
“I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming. He’s a kid he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate,” Barton said.
Barton says officers told her to wait outside the home while they went into the property, then soon afterward she heard gunshots being fired. Barton feared her son died since the officers didn’t tell her what had happened right away.
Gold Barton also claims she an officer tell another officer that “He’s just a child, what are you doing?”
Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating the incident and said they were responding to reports of a “violent psych issue” and that the teen was “making threats to some folks with a weapon.”
There isn’t any indication that a weapon was involved or had been found, but police say they don’t know for certain if there wasn’t a weapon.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall gave a statement on Sunday and promised there will be a full investigation into the police shooting incident.
“While the full details of this incident are yet to be released as an investigation takes place, I will say that I am thankful this young boy is alive and no one else was injured,” Mendenhall said.
Mendenhall continued and said, “No matter the circumstances, what happened on Friday night is a tragedy and I expect this investigation to be handled swiftly and transparently for the sake of everyone involved.”
Barton said that Linden Cameron’s father drove in from Iowa shortly after he heard the news. “He’s an amazing father,” she said.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.