Autistic Teen Shot by Police After Mom Called Them for Help When He Began Having a Mental Breakdown

Autistic Teen Shot by Police After Mom Called Them for Help When He Began Having a Mental Breakdown

When a 13-year-old with autism started having a mental breakdown, the teen’s mom needed up controlling her son so that he didn’t harm himself or others. As KUTV reports, without anyone else around, the mom called the police.

According to Golda Barton, her son Linden Cameron has Asperger syndrome. She told KUTV that he had a bit of a “mental breakdown” that day because it had been her first day back to work in nearly a year and he was having trouble coping.

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She was told that she should request a crisis intervention team in situations like this because they were trained to deescalate the situation. But when she called 911 for help, things went horribly awry. Sadly, Barton didn’t get the help she had asked for.

Barton told KUTV that once police arrived, Linden became scared and ran away. The last thing the mom heard was someone yell “get down on the ground” three times, which was then followed by several rounds of gunfire. Barton admits she was stunned by the way things were handled.


“Why didn’t they tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet? He’s a small child. Why don’t you just tackle him? You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources.”

Barton claimed that when she called 911, she asked for a crisis intervention team “to help her manage the situation and get her son treatment.” The mom told KUTV that she told the 911 operator that her son was unarmed. “I said, ‘Look, he’s unarmed. He doesn’t have anything. He just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming.'”

She added that Linden is just “a kid he’s trying to get attention. He doesn’t know how to regulate.” However, in a press conference, Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Keith Horrocks said that’s not what they were told.


Autistic Teen Shot by Police After Mom Called Them for Help

During the presser, Horrocks said officers had been called to the area because a boy was having a “psychological episode and had made threats to some folks with the weapon.” Sgt. Horrocks added that after the teen fled, it was one officer who fired their weapon, striking the child.

The other officers then administered aid until paramedics arrived to take him to a local hospital. Barton told CNN that her son sustained injuries to his shoulder, ankles, intestines, bladder, and colon. He has also been diagnosed with nerve damage.


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During the press conference, CNN reports that Horrocks did not reveal if the boy actually had a weapon on him or not. Barton said he did not. Detective Greg Wilking said specifics will be released follow an investigation, adding that “Mom (Barton) can say whatever she wants, but there’s this investigation that has to happen and this process that has to take place.”

Linden is still in the hospital recovering.

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