Linden Cameron: Autistic boy shot by cops faces lifelong injuries as bullets inside him damaged bones, organs
The mother revealed that her child in the hospital comforted her, saying: 'You know what mommy, they didn't hurt me. I didn't feel it. I'm a Superman'
An unarmed 13-year-old autistic boy, who was shot by police officers in Salt Lake City, will possibly experience lifelong injuries as the bullets are still inside him, a family lawyer has revealed. The boy, identified as Linden Cameron, continues to be hospitalized as is suffering from "pierced organs" and "shattered bones," his attorney Zach Weyher said, adding that he was "lucky to be alive." The incident comes amid widespread nationwide protests against the use of excessive force by police officers in the country. The attorney, in an email, wrote: On September 4 "emergency assistance was requested to deescalate a situation involving a neurologically diverse child. That request ended with an unarmed 13-year-old boy shot multiple times and lying on that ground as officers met him handcuffs rather than helping hands."
Salt Lake Mayor Erin Mendenhall released a statement over the incident on Sunday, September 13, calling the shooting a tragedy and asked for a transparent investigation into the case. The child's family is expected to see more details emerge when police body camera footage is released, which is required to be issued within 10 days of the incident. Authorities, on September 4, reportedly responded to Linden's mother's call for a crisis intervention team (CIT), when her son began suffering severe separation anxiety when she was going back to work. The child's mother, Golda Barton, said that the police told her CIT would "deescalate the situation using the most minimal force possible" at her home in Glendale. However, the child was eventually shot by those officers.
Barton, while explaining the situation to East Idaho News, said that her son "was scared" and "he was running" but he was not being violent "all all" when police arrived. She said: "I just want to know why they would do such a thing. Like why, … why didn't you do anything else, anything else."
Police said that the initial call to them was made concerning a boy having a "mental episode... made threats to some folks with a weapon." However, no weapons were found from the scene of the incident. Officers reportedly shot Linden, who has Asperger's, within minutes of arriving at his house. The mother said that within less than five minutes the police arrived, she heard an officer shout at the boy to "get on the ground" and then several shots were fired. The mother said that the officers had told her to wait outside while they entered the house and she soon heard gunshots from inside.
Barton said that she believed her son was dead because police did not immediately tell her what had happened. The mother, in a separate interview with KUTV, said: "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. He's a small child. Why didn't you just tackle him? He's a baby. He has mental issues." The mother, in addition, said that she had heard one of the officers say to another: "He's just a child, what are you doing?"
Post the brutal attack, the 13-year-old suffered injuries to his shoulders, both ankles, intestines, and bladder. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the boy's medical expenses. The mother also revealed that her child said: "You know what mommy, they didn't hurt me. I didn't feel it. I'm a Superman."