SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 21, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have released bodycam video and 911 calls from a Salt Lake City officer-involved shooting that critically wounded a 13-year-old boy who has autism earlier this month.
Linden Cameron was having what Salt Lake City Police Department spokesman Sgt. Keith Horrocks described as a “mental episode” when officers were called to his home near 500 South and Navajo Street in the Glendale neighborhood shortly after 10 p.m. Sept. 4, 2020.
The bodycam videos show responding officers meeting briefly with Linden’s mother who told police her son had a history of mental issues, had previous violent encounters with law enforcement, and may possibly be armed.
Officers attempted to contact the troubled teen, who fled from the family’s home and led police on a foot chase through a neighborhood alleyway.
As police converged on the teen, he was repeatedly ordered to the ground and to “pull your hands out” before one of the officers opened fire.
The 13-year collapsed on the sidewalk and officers began first aid.
At a press conference prior to the release of the footage, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said, “As a member of this community, and as the mother of a 14-year-old boy, I am profoundly heartbroken and I am frustrated.
“This shooting is another tragedy. It’s a tragedy for this young boy, for his mother and for families and individuals who have acute mental health needs, and for our community, who may look at this situation and see themselves or a loved one reflected in it.
‘We are at the beginning of an evolution to the way our city addresses public safety, and through this work we will live in a Salt Lake City that is safer for its residents and the officers that serve and protect them.”
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown also spoke, saying that as a community, “we need to find a way forward” to deal with mental health incidents, “which frequently are not criminal in nature.”
Body-cam video from four different officers were revealed to the public Monday.
“This is body-worn camera footage from the officer-involved critical incident which occurred on Sep. 4, 2020,” Salt Lake City Police Department posted on YouTube on Monday afternoon.
“The video begins when the officer activated their camera. The video is stopped after the shooting occurs in order to protect the privacy of the juvenile who was shot. There are redactions in the audio of the video to protect the privacy interests of the juvenile. In three of the videos the officers gather to have a conversation, they mute their audio as per state law prior to turning the audio back on. This occurs approximately 10 minutes into the videos.”
The first video, which is 18 minutes and 26 seconds long, is the point of view of the male officer who fired the shots. It begins with three officers walking toward the home teen’s family home, but still some distance from the residence.
At the 3 minute 18 second mark, the juvenile’s mother is shown inside a parked car. The officer asks her: “What’s going on?” The mother responds that she has been working and says of Linden: “He’s not used to being without me for so long, because I’m worried about him and I normally don’t ever leave.”
The officer says police have some notes about weapons in the house. His mother says a co-worker told her Linden had a BB gun. “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, I don’t believe it’s a real gun,” she says. The officer replies: “So unfortunately we have to treat them all as if they are.” The officer adds: “What is it you need from us tonight?” The boy’s mother says: “We need him to go to the hospital. I need him to go to the hospital. I cannot get in there on my own, and I cannot do this every night.”
She adds that law enforcement is a trigger for her son. “He sees the badge and he automatically thinks, like, you’re going to kill him, or he has to defend himself in some way. He freaks out,” she says. The officers say they will go to the house before the boy’s mother does. “We’re going to leave you out of the equation and keep you out here,” the female officer says. “We just don’t want your safety to be compromised.” The boy’s mother says he and his brother are in the house.
At the 16 minute 24 second mark, the officers knock on the door and identify themselves, then can be seen running through the backyard as Linden runs. The juvenile then jumps a fence. At the 17 minute 10 second mark, the officer wearing the body-camera shouts: “Freeze, let me see your hands.” The officers then climb through the fence as they continue to chase the juvenile. At the 18 minute 9 second mark, shots can be heard and the officer says: “2-22, shots fired.” At the end of that video, the juvenile can be seen lying on the ground. “I don’t feel good,” Linden can be heard saying after the shooting. “Tell my mom I love her.”
The second video, which is 18 minutes and 22 seconds long, shows the incident from another male officer’s point of view.
A third video, which is 18 minutes and 31 seconds, shows the incident from the body-worn camera of a female officer.
The final video, which is one minute and 40 seconds long, shows officers chasing the juvenile from the point of view of a fourth officer, who says repeatedly: “Get on the ground,” then “Pull your hands out.”
Two 911 calls from the juvenile’s mother and the audio recording of the radio traffic also were released Monday.
SLCPD released a second lengthy statement along with the videos.
The statement reads in full: