Last Monday, Linden Cameron, a 13-year-old boy with autism, was shot multiple times by police.
Bodycam videos were released, depicting police officers chasing the boy, yelling at him, and shooting him for not listening.
After the shots were fired, Cameron was seen collapsing and moaning, ‘I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good’. He was taken to a local hospital. He is currently recovering from multiple broken bones and damaged organs.
Cameron comes from Salt Lake City in Utah. Cameron’s mother, Golda Barton, had called 911 to aid her in ‘de-escalating’ a mental breakdown. In the call, the police dispatcher asked her whether Cameron was armed.
Barton replied, “I don’t believe he does, but I just found out that… he showed one of my workers a prop gun, or a BB gun or a pellet gun. It wasn’t a big weapon.”
The 911 call also revealed Barton’s warning that Cameron ‘does not like police because they killed her father’ in the last year.
She said, “He sees the badge and he automatically thinks you are going to kill him or he has to defend himself in some way. He freaks out.”
She recommended to the dispatcher: “We need a mental health worker, it’s super important.”
However, upon arrival, police decided to chase Cameron down an alleyway before shooting him. One officer was heard saying, “Especially when he hates cops, it’s probably gonna end in a shooting.”
The family’s attorney has stated that “He will likely be injured for life.”
According to Barton’s statement post-shooting, Cameron was ‘triggered’ after seeing police.
The shooting has caused a lot of uproar on news media and social media. It has raised multiple questions about how police treat those with mental health issues. Like with racism discourse, police de-escalation tactics are being criticized for being too aggressive.
The bodycam video was released because of Salt Lake City’s law, which requires police to release footage of police shootings within 10 business days.