POLICE

Ex-police chief speaks out on shooting of 13-year-old Linden Cameron

Sep 21, 2020, 5:13 AM
Cameron shooting...
FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2020 file photo, Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown speaks as Mayor Erin Mendenhall listens during a news conference on Aug. 3, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Police Department vowed Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, to cooperate with multiple investigations of the shooting of a 13-year-old autistic boy by officers in the Salt Lake City area. The Salt Lake City Police Department said the officers were called to a home in Glendale, Utah, Friday night, Sept. 4 with a report of a boy who had threatened people with a weapon. The boy reportedly ran and was shot by an officer after being pursued by police. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY— The body cam footage of the shooting of 13-year-old autistic Linden Cameron is expected to be released Monday. Without having seeing the footage, a former Salt Lake City Chief of police said he can’t understand how guns were drawn in the first place. 

His mother said Cameron was having some kind of mental health crisis when she called police to help calm the child down.  Police say officers were informed the boy made threats to some people with a weapon.  Then, police shot him multiple times after they say the boy ran.  

The Salt Lake City Police Department hasn’t released any more details.  Cameron is currently recovering from shoulder, ankle, bladder and intestinal injuries in the hospital.

“THIS WAS A CHILD”

“This is not an adult in mental health crisis. This is a 13 year old,” said former Chief Chris Burbank. “I don’t know why you get to the point where you pull your gun out of the holster in this circumstance.” 

Burbank said mental health counselors and therapists deal with this kind of situation every day.  He noted that even when they are struck they never have to use “deadly force.”

Burbank was chief of the SLCPD for nine years until 2015.  He said he oversaw much of the initial Crisis Intervention Training when he was in charge.

He said there is a training video that he developed that specifically deals with “Invisible Illnesses” like this. 

OTHER OPTIONS

“I’m really struggling to understand why deadly force was used, when there are so many other options available to police today,” Burbank said.  “There is hands-on physical, there are tasers, there is pepper spray, there are batons. What was it that caused the need for a physical confrontation?  The threat to the community was minimal, if at all.”

Burbank said there is only one reason that would justify use of deadly force against the boy.  “If (Cameron) had a gun and pointed it at a police officer.  That is the only (rational) explanation in my mind.”

Today’s Top Stories

Police

Photo credit: Summit Academy High School Facebook page...
Lindsay Aerts

Summit Academy High School locked down after series of unrelated events

Summit Academy High School was put on lockdown Tuesday afternoon.
19 hours ago
A semi hauling sand Monday evening rolled on US-40 near Vernal, blocking all lanes of traffic. The ...
Mark Jones

Semi rollover near Vernal blocks all lanes of US-40

A semi hauling sand rolled on US-40 Monday evening near Vernal, blocking all lanes of traffic. The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
2 days ago
apology act of kindness...
Mark Jones

Utah County Search and Rescue team help teenager off Battle Creek trail

A 16-year-old girl fell about 20 feet up Battle Creek trail, suffering a head injury. The Utah County Search and Rescue team had her off the mountain by 7:30 p.m.
2 days ago
buffalo shooter...
Becky Bruce and Mark Jones

Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict

Shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict, says John Huber, former U.S. District Attorney for the District of Utah.
2 days ago
SLCPD police car. Its SWAT team responded to a situation today....
Samantha Herrera

Man found dead from self-inflicted wound following SWAT situation

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department’s SWAT Team discovered a suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a reported sexual assault. The area surrounding a Salt Lake home was locked down by the SLCPD for a period on Monday afternoon as the SWAT team investigated. There is a large police […]
2 days ago
body found construction salt lake city...
Chandler Holt

Man arrested after assault and robbery attempt

Man arrested after assault and robbery attempt near Shuttle Stop 10 in Salt Lake City
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Ex-police chief speaks out on shooting of 13-year-old Linden Cameron