CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

SLC Mayor on public safety: “We are at the beginning of an evolution”

Sep 21, 2020, 5:28 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:22 am
Linden Cameron...
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall addresses reporters on Monday, Sept. 21, ahead of the release of body-worn camera footage reportedly showing the shooting by SLC police of a 13-year-old autistic boy. Screen grab, Facebook.

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the Chief of Salt Lake City Police Mike Brown, held a briefing ahead of the release of body-worn camera footage on Monday. The footage is expected to show the shooting by Salt Lake City police of Linden Cameron, a 13-year-old boy with autism.

 

SLC Mayor and SLCPD Cheif speak on shooting 

“As a member of this community,” Mayor Mendenhall said on Monday. “And as a mother of a 14-year-old boy, I’m profoundly heartbroken and I am frustrated.” 

“This shooting is another tragedy … for this young boy, for his mother, and for families and individuals who have acute mental health needs.”

Upon the release of the footage, Mendenhall said she expects the District Attorney’s Office and Civilian Review Board, and SLC police’s internal affairs to conduct an investigation thoroughly and quickly.

Additionally, Mendenhall announced beginning with this particular footage, all police body-worn recordings involving Salt Lake City police officers will be published on the SLC Police Department’s website.

Citing work with already done by her administration, the Salt Lake City Council, with the Commission on Racial Equity and Policing, and the SLCPD, Mendenhall said the city is at “the beginning of an evolution in the way our city addresses public safety.”

She promised through this work, “we will live in a different Salt Lake City that is more safe for its residents, and for the officers who serve and protect them.”

Read Mayor Mendenhall’s full statement here. 

In response to the shooting of Linden Cameron by police, Cheif Brown said he was saddened at the situation.

“We need to take what we have learned and turn it into practice. We are facing a mental health crisis,” said Brown.

While his comments on the event were brief, Brown said too often police are dispatched to respond to calls that aren’t criminal in nature, rather problems with mental health.  

The shooting of Linden Cameron

On a Friday night, Sept. 4, Salt Lake City police responded to a home near 500 South and 1335 West (Navajo Street) in Salt Lake City. 

KSL Newsradio previously reported that Cameron’s mother, Golda Barton, called police, told them he was having “an episode,” and asked for their help taking the child to the hospital. Barton told KSL she specifically asked for an officer trained in situations involving mental health to respond. 

Police said they were called to a report of a “juvenile” having a “violent psychological issue” and when they arrived, Cameron ran. A short time later, a total of 8 shots were fired, according to SLCPD. 

 

 

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SLC Mayor on public safety: “We are at the beginning of an evolution”