July 18, 2024

Police attack, fire bullets at unarmed autistic teenager


Police officers in Glendale, Utah have shot at a 13-year-old boy with mental health crisis several times after receiving a 911 help call from his mother.

The mother said his child Linden Cameron, who has Asperger’s, a form of autism, was in a critical condition in hospital.

Golda Barton said she had thought police attending on Friday night would use “the most minimal force possible”.

Salt Lake City Police Sgt Keith Horrocks told reporters that the incident was now being investigated.

Speaking to local reporters, Ms Barton said she told the 911 operator that her son required to be taken to hospital for medical help.

She said his child was experiencing a crisis because it was her first day back at work in almost a year and “he has bad separation anxiety”, she said.

“I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming,” Ms Barton said.

“He’s a kid, he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.”

Sgt Horrocks said officers were called to a “violent psych issue” and reports that a boy – who they did not name – had made “threats to some folks with a weapon”.

He added that there was no indication when they attended that the boy was armed.

“An officer shot the boy when he tried to flee on foot,” Sgt Horrocks said.

Salt Lake City saw protests against police brutality this summer, as experienced in some other cities.

Report from an online fundraiser set up to raise money for medical bills said Linden Cameron has suffered “injuries to his shoulder, both ankles, intestines and bladder”.

“The long-term effects of his injuries are still unknown, but it is likely that his recovery will be long and require multiple kinds of treatment,” the page, set up by a friend of the family, reads.

There have been not less than 1,254 people with a mental illness shot dead by US police since the beginning of 2015, according to a report.

This represents 22% of all people shot and killed by police across the country over that period.

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