The Salt Lake City Police Department recently released the body cam footage of an officer shooting an unarmed 13-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome. A Salt Lake City ordinance required that video from police shootings now be released to the public within 10 business days.
Earlier this month, Salt Lake City police officers arrived at the 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.
In the police body cam video, officers ordered the boy to get on the ground after chasing him for a minute. As Cameron continued walking away from the officers, one of them suddenly fired 11 rounds at him.
Cameron immediately fell to the ground, while the officer who shot him repeatedly shouted, “Show me your hands!”
“I don’t feel good,” Cameron said with his empty hands out to his sides. “Tell my mom that I love her.”
According to Cameron’s mother, Golda Barton, she told police that her son had access to a BB gun and had threatened one of her coworkers, but she did not think he had a real firearm. Despite the fact that police treated the incident as though Cameron might have a real gun on him, no weapon was found at the scene.
“I am very saddened by this tragic situation,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said during a press conference on Monday. “As a father of three young sons, this has had a big impact on me personally.”
“As a member of this community and as the mother of a 14-year-old boy, I am profoundly heartbroken,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Monday. “I am frustrated. This shooting is another tragedy. It’s a tragedy for this young boy, for his mother and for families and individuals with acute mental health needs. I think that our community looks at this situation and see themselves or their loved ones reflected in it.”
Suffering gunshot wounds to the shoulder, both ankles, intestines, and bladder, Cameron reportedly remains in treatment at the hospital. The district attorney’s office is continuing to review the shooting and determine whether the officer was legally justified in firing his weapon at Cameron.