Mother of 13-year-old autistic boy shot by police speaks up

Golda Barton, the mother of Linden Cameron, speaks up after her autistic son was shot by the Salt Lake City Police.

  • The shooting occurred on Friday night after Barton called 911 and asked for a crisis intervention team (CIT) to help take her son to the hospital.
  • The 13-year-old boy was shot and now has injuries to his shoulder, both ankles, intestines, and bladder.
  • Video: Barton gave a heartbreaking account of the horrifying story.
Source: KUTV

13-year-old Linden Cameron is autistic and suffers from Asperger’s.

The boy’s mother, Golda Barton, had called 911 and asked for a crisis intervention team during her son’s mental breakdown. KUTV reported that Barton needed the CIT to help her transport the boy to the hospital. During the phone call, Barton had made it clear that her son was unarmed and that he is just trying to get attention by yelling and screaming:

This is how to deal with people with mental health issues. So, you call them [the CIT], and they’re supposed to come out and be able to deescalate 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.

Linden Cameron (Source: KUTV)

Shortly after the police had arrived, Barton heard an officer yell ‘Get down on the ground’ and several gunshots.

Barton explained that in just under five minutes, they had shot her son as she heard several gunshots being fired. At the time, she was certain that they had killed her son and the officers refused to tell her whether or not he was alive. According to KUTV, the mother further stated that she had allegedly heard from someone that the other officer had been seen grabbing his head in disbelief after the shooting and saying ‘He’s just a child, what are you doing?’. The investigation is open and active and the police are required to release bodycam footage before September 21, reported KUTV.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s office released a statement:

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. 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.

It is important to note that this is Barton’s account and an investigation is active.

While Barton explained that her son had been unarmed, KUTV reported that Sgt. Horrocks had said that the police ‘were called to the area for a report of a “violent psych issue” involving the juvenile “having a mental episode” and “making threats to some folks with a weapon”.’ Nevertheless, Horrocks admitted that he did not know whether or not the boy had in fact been armed.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Cameron and his family.

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