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Utah Mom Furious With Police For Shooting Her 13-Year-Old Autistic Son After She Called 911 For Help

KUTV 2 News Salt Lake City

A young teen is clinging to life after a confrontation with police Friday night.

13-year-old Linden Cameron suffered injuries to his shoulder, ankles and internal organs after being shot several times by officers called to perform a wellness check on him.

The boy’s mother, Golda Barton called the police and asked for a crisis intervention team (CIT) for her son, who she says has “bad separation anxiety”. Barton was returning to work for the first time in almost a year.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

She explained the CIT are supposed to respond with minimal force, and that her son just needed to be taken to the hospital.

She says she told the officers:

“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.”

Barton was home when two officers arrived for the boy.

In less than five minutes she heard gunshots.

Sgt Keith Horrocks of Salt Lake City police explained in a briefing what officers said happened.

“Our officers were dispatched to the area… on a violent psych issue involving a juvenile male who had made threats.”

“Our officers came into the area, and given the threats with a weapon they arrived in the area and contacted this male.”

“That male fled on foot away from the address. And during a short foot pursuit an officer discharged his firearm.”

No weapon has been found at the home of Linden Cameron.

In a statement, Mayor Erin Mendenhall has vowed the investigation into this matter would be quick and transparent. Salt Lake City police confirmed an independent investigation is currently ongoing.

They explained:

“Each time there is an officer-involved critical incident in Salt Lake County the officer-involved critical incident protocol is invoked.”

“A protocol team made up of officers from multiple agencies with no ties to the Salt Lake City Police Department conducts an independent investigation.”

“We are cooperating fully with the protocol team assigned to this case.”

All of this comes at a time when public discourse over police funding and public interaction is under scrutiny. After the deaths and shootings of unarmed civilians in multiple cities, protests and riots have broken out, calling for defunding the police in order to transfer funding to agencies equipped to handle mental health issues without violence.

This latest incident provided more fuel for the fire.

Barton launched a fundraiser to help cover her son’s medical bills from the multiple gunshot wounds he suffered. She questions the actions taken by the officers in subduing her son.

“Why didn’t they tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet?”

“You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources. Come on. Give me a break.”

At time of writing, the fundraiser had raised just shy of $60,000 of its $100,000 goal.

Ben Acosta

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.