13-Year-Old Boy With Autism Is Shot Several Times By Police In Salt Lake City, Utah

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13-Year-Old Boy With Autism Is Shot Several Times By Police In Salt Lake City, Utah

Photo: Linden Cameron, 13, was shot repeatedly by police after his mother called 911 to ask for help with the autistic boy, his family says. (KUTV)


A 13-year-old boy with autism has been shot several times by a police officer in Salt Lake City, Utah. The incident occurred after his mother phoned 911 seeking help for her son, who has Asperger syndrome, as he was suffering a mental health crisis.


When the police arrived the boy ran away and was at that point shot by the officer. He was unarmed and posed no danger to the officers or the general public. He was left with injuries to his intestines, bladder, shoulder and ankles.


After the shooting, officers even handcuffed him. His mother said the mental breakdown occurred as he had been left alone and suffers from separation anxiety.


Golda Barton, mother of Linden Cameron, said in an interview:


"He's a small child. Why didn't you just tackle him? He's a baby. He has mental issues. You call them, and they're supposed to come out and be able to de-escalate a situation using the most minimal force possible. 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.' Why didn't they tase him? Why didn't they shoot him with a rubber bullet? You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources. Come on. Give me a break."


The Mayor said a full investigation would be carried out and that answers would be found. Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement:


"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."


The incident comes shortly after the release of video showing the killing of Daniel Prude, in Rochester, New York State. According to the family's lawyer, Prude was in the midst of "an acute, manic, psychotic episode" when his brother called the police looking for help. Officers, under no threat from the cuffed Prude, forced him to the ground and placed a hood over his head asphyxiating him. The coroner deemed the death a homicide.


Neurodiverse Utah, a group that campaigns for people with mental health conditions said in a statement:


"Police were called because help was needed but instead more harm was done when officers from the SLPD expected a 13-year-old experiencing a mental health episode to act calmer and collected than adult trained officers."


The family have now set up a GoFundMe page in order to pay the medical bills they are expected to receive for their son's survival and treatment.

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Thinking Humanity: 13-Year-Old Boy With Autism Is Shot Several Times By Police In Salt Lake City, Utah
13-Year-Old Boy With Autism Is Shot Several Times By Police In Salt Lake City, Utah
A 13-year-old boy with autism has been shot several times by a police officer in Salt Lake City, Utah. The incident occurred after his mother phoned 911 seeking help for her son, who has Asperger syndrome, as he was suffering a mental health crisis. When the police arrived the boy ran away and was at that point shot by the officer. He was unarmed and posed no danger to the officers or the general public. He was left with injuries to his intestines, bladder, shoulder and ankles.
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