Correction: The original headline said that the shooting was fatal. It wasn’t we apologize for the error.
Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake City police released bodycam video of the officer-involved shooting of an autistic teenager on Sept. 4 after he told pursuing officers that he had a gun (video below).
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 multiple times, the video showed.
The action that prompted the officer to open fire isn’t clear in the video.
After he was down on the ground, 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 has remained in the hospital undergoing treatment, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
His family is calling for the termination of the police officer who shot him.
Barton has also claimed that her father was killed by police earlier this year, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters at a press conference to release the footage on Monday that the department would analyze the incident “through a lens of learning.”
“We are facing a mental health crisis in this country,” Chief Brown said. “We want to be partners with those who provide mental health services. As a community, we need to find a way forward. Too often, our officers are called to deal with these difficult problems, which frequently are not criminal in nature.”
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill’s office is investigating the officer-involved shooting, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: