The mayor of Salt Lake City recently released a statement confirming that police officers are under investigation for shooting an unarmed 13-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome.
Shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday, Salt Lake City police officers arrived at a residence after Golda Barton called the police asking for a crisis intervention team to help calm down her son, 13-year-old Linden Cameron. According to Barton, her son was suffering from a mental breakdown and required transportation to the hospital for treatment.
“I said, ‘Look, he’s unarmed. He doesn’t have anything. He just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming,’” Barton told KUTV about her phone call to police. “He’s a kid he’s trying to get attention. He doesn’t know how to regulate.”
Barton recalled that her son attempted to run away when the Salt Lake City police officers arrived at the residence. In less than five minutes, she heard “get down on the ground” and several gunshots fired at her son.
Linden Cameron survived the shooting and remains in serious condition while reportedly suffering from damage to his shoulder, ankles, intestines, bladder and colon, as well as nerve damage.
No weapon was found at the scene.
“Why didn’t they tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet?” Barton asked during a recent interview. “He’s a small child. Why don’t you just tackle him? You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources.”
“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,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement released Sunday. “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.”
In addition to an independent police investigation and the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit investigating the incident, the city’s Civilian Review Board and the District Attorney’s office have also launched investigations into the police shooting of an unarmed 13-year-old boy.