Earlier this month, an officer with the Salt Lake City Police Department shot a young autistic boy 11 times, nearly killing him and leaving him with injuries that will be causing him trouble for the rest of his life. Police recently released body camera footage from the officers involved in the chase that resulted in the shooting, and the videos clearly show that the young boy was not actually a threat to anyone, he was simply running away because he was scared.
13-year-old Linden Cameron had good reason to be scared too, police shot and killed and his grandfather earlier this year, so he understandably did not see police as people who were there to help.
The police were called by Golda Barton, the boy’s mother, who had no crime to report, but just seemed fed up with her son. She told the officers on the scene that he didn’t like cops, and also told them that he might possibly be carrying a fake gun, which has seemed odd to many people who have commented on the case. If someone in the family was already killed by police, she should know better than to call them again.
The bodycam footage also revealed that one of the officers on the scene, a female officer, identified the situation as a psych problem that the police had no business getting involved in.
“This is a psych problem. I don’t see why we even have to approach,” she said.
The officer pointed out that the boy was not actually a threat to anyone, and said that the situation was not worth shooting someone over. She said that perhaps the kid will break some things around the house and cause some trouble for the mother, but it was not a police issue because he was not actually a threat to anyone, despite apparently being an inconvenience to his mother.
Unfortunately, the other officers on the scene did not take her advice and decided to question Cameron. As soon as they knocked on the front door, they noticed him run out the back and chased after him. After a short chase, one of the officers ordered Cameron to get to the ground, and within seconds of barking the command, the officer fired 11 shots at the young boy because he did not immediately obey.
The video ends with Cameron saying “I don’t feel good. Tell my mom I love her,” as he is laying on the ground.
Police handcuffed him first, and then made a half-hearted effort at giving him medical attention. Luckily, Cameron was able to survive but he is still in very serious conditions and will be left with injuries that will be with him fro the rest of his life. When he was taken to the hospital, he was initially in critical condition with bullet wounds to his intestines, bladder, shoulder, and ankles. He is still in the hospital and has been having trouble speaking. He has also lost feeling in one of his arms, and doctors don’t expect him to be able to walk again.