In Salt Lake City, Utah, a 13-year-old boy with a mental disorder called Asperger’s Syndrome was shot by the police multiple times at his home. His name is Lyndon Cameron, and his mother, Golda Barton, said that he was just having problems with her leaving the house, because she had not been back to work for about a year.
Golda broke down in tears as she spoke to reporters about what happened. “I said ‘look, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything’,” she said. “He just starts yelling and screaming because he wants attention. He is a kid, and he doesn’t know how to regulate. Then I hear ‘Get down on the ground! Get down on the ground! Bam! Bam! Bam! (imitating gunshots)…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.”
As a result of the shooting, the boy now has nerve damage and other injuries. Golda said that she’d called a Crisis Intervention Team, being that her son has a mental disability. It was the right thing to do, because that particular type of unit should be able to cater to her unique situation with her son acting irately because of his mental condition. But, the call for help ended up in bloodshed.
Use of Unnecessary Force in the Salt Lake City Shooting
Some of the cops on the scene said that 13-year-old Lyndon was threatening people with a weapon. But, spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Police, Detective Greg Wilking, wrote in a public statement that they “Could not speak specifically to whether the boy had a weapon or ‘what the officers’ perceived threats were, and that those questions would be determined by the investigation.”
The boy’s mother, Golda, had called the Crisis Intervention Team, because she knew that this type of police unit is supposed to be trained to handle people with mental disorders in the event they act out in stressful situations, such as her son did when she was about to leave home for work for the first time in a very long time. The question on everyone’s mind at this time is, how did the situation escalate to the point that police had to use actual gunfire to subdue the boy, especially after they were told that he had Asperger’s Syndrome (which according to Web MD is within the Autism Spectrum Disorder category)?
Will Anything Happen to the Policeman After the Salt Lake City Shooting?
This event has happened as policemen across America are quickly gaining a reputation of being “trigger happy”, such as in the Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting when an unarmed Black man named Jacob Blake was shot in the back by police seven times with his children just feet away.
Lesser force obviously could have been used in Kenosha, as well as in all of the other shootings by police over the years. The fact that this little boy in Salt Lake City was not Black just proves that many cops are not only racist, but are also just plain poorly trained in general, especially when it comes to de-escalating situations without using deadly force.