A 13-year-old boy with autism was reportedly having a “mental breakdown.” When his mother called for assistance, Salt Lake City police resorted to shooting the child.
Amid the protests calling for police accountability, concerns loom the Salt Lake City police department. According to The New York Times, police fired shots at the teen after responding to a “violent psych issue” call.
Mother’s call for assistance
Local news identifies the young boy as Linden Cameron. According to his mother’s narrative, Golda Barton she called the police seeking for “a crisis intervention team (CIT).”
She needed help with her son, who has Asperger’s syndrome. Barton was told that the CIT could help “deescalate a situation using the most minimal force possible,” per 2News.
Barton was to resume work after being away because of her son. The mother explains that Lindon “has bad separation anxiety.”
She told the Salt Lake City police that her son is having a “mental breakdown needed to be transported to the hospital for treatment.”
She already briefed the officers on how to handle his son, stating:
“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.”
Police were told Lindon threatened people with weapon
According to the statement of Sgt. Keith Horrocks of the Salt Lake City Police Department, they received a report of “violent psych issue.” Identifying the person as a “juvenile” that was “having a mental episode.”
That the said person was “making threats to some folks with a weapon.”
As further explained by Horrocks, there was a “short foot pursuit,” after the teen ran away from the officers. During the chase, “an officer discharged his firearm and hit the subject.”
Horrocks confirmed to the public that there was “no indication” Lindon had a weapon on him.
Meanwhile, according to Barton, in less than five minutes since the police entered the front door of her home in Glendale neighborhood, she heard the words: “get down on the ground.”
The sound of several gunshots followed this.
Per CNN, the heartbroken mother told the local news media:
“Why didn’t they tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet?
He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.”
Lindon was taken to the hospital on Friday. According to Horrocks, the teen is in “serious condition.”
CNN notes that officers are investigating this incident from the West Valley City Police Department.
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