No Charges For Utah Cop Who Shot Autistic 13 Year Old Trying To Commit Suicide-By-Cop


Salt Lake City, UT – Utah prosecutors have declined to charge a Salt Lake City police officer who shot an unarmed autistic 13 year old who was trying to commit suicide-by-cop in 2020.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sam Gill sent a letter to the administration of the Salt Lake City Police Department that called the officer-involved shooting “unjustified,” the Associated Press reported.

However, despite that determination, Gill said he didn’t think he could meet the burden of proof to justify criminally charging the officer who shot 13-year-old Linden Cameron after the preteen begging officers to kill him during a mental health crisis.

The district attorney said that two separate use-of-force experts had conducted investigations and reviewed the footage and the come to the opposite conclusion of the prosecutor’s office, the Associated Press reported.

“We cannot say that the shooting of an unarmed 13-year-old child suffering a mental health crisis — who never presented even a facsimile of a weapon or an object which could have been mistaken for a weapon, and who did not act in a manner in which fair inference would suggest a weapon — was reasonable,” Gill’s letter to the police department read.

“However, given the inherent conflict of experts which would introduce doubt, we believe we are not likely to meet our burden of proof,” Gill explained.

Salt Lake City Police Department spokesman Brent Weisberg said an internal review was ongoing and that the officer who shot the 13 year old had been on “modified duty” since the incident, the Associated Press reported.

Police released bodycam video of the officer-involved shooting of Cameron on Sept. 4, 2020.

The incident occurred after Golda Barton called 911 to ask for help because her autistic son – 13-year-old Linden Cameron – was having a mental health episode, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Bodycam video from the scene showed that when officers responded to Barton’s home, she told them she had called police because it was the only way to have her son hospitalized because her health insurance wouldn’t cover it otherwise.

“We need him to go to the hospital,” the mother told an officer, according to bodycam video. “I need him to go to a hospital. I can’t get him to get there on my own. And I cannot do this every night.”

Barton told police that her son hated police, had led police on a chase in the past, and had previously been involved in a “shootout” with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

When officers arrived, bodycam video showed the mother told them that her co-worker had told her that her 13 year old had a fake gun the prior day.

“Are you sure it’s a BB gun?” the officer asked Barton in the video.

“I don’t know if it’s a BB gun. I don’t know if it’s a pellet gun. I don’t know if it’s a prop weapon because my other son-,” she explained.

“But you don’t know if it’s a real gun either?” the officer asked in the video.

“I don’t believe it’s a real gun. I don’t believe it’s a real gun,” Barton said.

“So, unfortunately, we have to kind of treat them all as if they are,” the officer explained to the boy’s mother in the video.

Officers tried to approach Cameron in his home, but the 13 year old fled on foot, the video showed.

Bodycam video showed the officers told the boy to stop and get on the ground repeatedly as they pursued him.

The video showed that Cameron told pursuing officers that he had a weapon.

“I have a gun,” the boy said in the video as he ran.

Later in the chase, Cameron refused to follow commands and the officer opened fire, shooting him multiple times, the video showed.

The action that prompted the officer to open fire wasn’t clear in the video.

After he was down on the ground, the officer continued to order him to show his hands but the boy would not comply.

“I don’t feel good,” Cameron said in the video. “Tell my mom I love her.”

The 13 year old suffered bullet wounds to his shoulder, ankles, intestines, and bladder, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Police said they did not find a weapon on the boy despite his claims to the contrary that were captured on the video.

Cameron, who survived the shooting, reached a $3 million settlement in a civil lawsuit with Salt Lake City in 2022, the Associated Press reported.

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