Updated: Oct 4, 2020
An Autistic child is shown injured after being shot by law enforcement. Video, images and interviews include injured child and traumatized parent.
Here at Fierce Autistics and Allies, we condemn the shooting of 13 year old Linden Cameron. His mother called the police in Gendale, Utah for help because he was running away from home. She was under the impression they would help deescalate him with a little force as possible.
This is not what happened. Less than 5 minutes upon arriving on the scene, the police had shot this 13 year old boy. There is no possible way they could have deescalated the situation in 5 minutes. "He was running from police because he was scared." His mother specifically asked for a crisis intervention team to help deescalate her son to keep him safe. She was trying to bring him to the hospital for psychiatric treatment.
The responding officer's method of deescalating the situation was yelling at a young autistic teen to "get down on the ground." He expected the teen to comply. He shot this young boy multiple times. Instead of getting the treatment his mother was trying to get for him, he is recovering in the hospital due to excessive force. The police said they were responding to a "juvenile psychiatric threat with a weapon." According to his mother, he did not have a weapon.
After he was taken to the hospital, they would not inform his mother on his health status or even let her see him. He is awake but he will be recovering for a long time. He was shot in his stomach, arm, bladder, ankles, shoulder, colon, ankle, intestines and more. Nobody, let alone a child, should have to experience this.
Our hearts go out to Linden and his family and wish him a speedy recovery. It is now 2020 and this incident should have NEVER happened. We will be reaching out to them to see if they need any kind of support.
Here at FAA we believe that education is key to making these incidents no longer a reality. Education leads to acceptance. We are currently working on education programs for different fields of work, including law enforcement. This will help ensure that the occurrence of these incidents are lessened and hopefully stopped all together.