Salt Lake City residents are shaken after a local police officer riddled a young autistic child with bullets, raising severe doubts over law enforcement’s ability to respond to mental health crises.
Linden Cameron, 13, is in serious condition after police responded to a “mental episode” by firing at the young boy. A Salt Lake City police officer was responding to a request for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in Glendale, Utah, on Friday night when the incident occurred.
The young teen sustained life-changing injuries after being struck in his shoulder, both ankles, bladder, and intestines, his mother, Golda Barton, told KUTV.
“He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him?” Barton said between tears in a Sunday interview. “He’s a baby. He has mental issues.”
Police have been slow to explain what exactly occurred pending an ongoing investigation of the shooting. The mayor of Salt Lake City has strongly urged the police to respond urgently in their investigation.
“No matter the circumstances, what happened on Friday night is a tragedy, and I expect this investigation to be handled swiftly and transparently for the sake of everyone involved,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The grief-stricken mother explained that she called 911 on Friday in hopes that emergency responders could hospitalize her young boy, who has Asperger syndrome and was suffering a mental crisis. She was told that the CIT would carefully deescalate the situation using minimal force.
Barton had just returned to work after being gone for over a year due to her parental duties, mainly because her son has a debilitating case of separation anxiety, she said. When he finally suffered a mental breakdown, Barton new that a CIT was needed to hospitalize Cameron and give him proper treatment.
Police shot a 13-year-old boy who was experiencing a mental health episode. Police were called because help was needed…
The loving mother was careful and specific in instructing officers what to do.
“I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming,” Barton said. “He’s a kid, he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.”
When two officers arrived at the front door of her home, Barton was informed that she should stay on the scene. Within less than five minutes, she heard officers screaming “get down on the ground” before firing their weapons several times into her son.
As Barton begged officers to let her know if her son was dead or alive, the officers promptly handcuffed him.
Barton was later told that after the shooting, one of the officers grabbed his own head in shock and disbelief and said “He’s just a child, what are you doing?”
After the incident, SLPD Sgt. Keith Horrocks described the event as a response to a reported “violent psych issue” involving a “a juvenile that was having a mental episode, a psychotic episode, that had made threats to some folks with a weapon.”
“During a short foot pursuit, an officer discharged his firearm and hit the subject,” Horrocks added.
Local autism advocates have decried the shooting as sadly reflective of law enforcement’s seeming inability to handle mental health crises.
“Police were called because help was needed but instead more harm was done when officers from the SLPD expected a 13-year-old experiencing a mental health episode to act calmer and collected than adult trained officers,” Neurodiverse Utah said in a brief statement.
Barton described her son as a typical teenager who loves video games, four wheeling and longboarding, a generous spirit who “is always looking for ways to help people out.”
“Why didn’t they Tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet?” Barton asked. “You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources. Come on. Give me a break.”
Cameron’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his medical bills. As of early afternoon Tuesday, the page has managed to raise about $20,000 of the $50,000 goal.
This is the go fund me for my little brother who was wrongly shot by police officers. https://t.co/RUWxWBUODr
— Wesley Barton (@TheBarton) September 7, 2020
Cliffhanger: Mountain Biker Saved From “Imminent Death” After Falling Into Canyon
A Southern California mountain biker is likely counting his blessings after he was rescued from what authorities describe as “imminent death”” after falling from the side of a cliff in the Angeles National Forest.
The mountain biker, described as an older man, fell into the canyon at Mt. Wilson on Thursday morning and was dangling hundreds of feet above the ground before his fellow bikers, and eventually a special team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, rescued him.
For some time the man dangled by a thin cord around his ankle that was tied to his bicycle while hanging on for dear life “like a cat,” Capt. Tom Giandomenico of the LASD special enforcement bureau told the Los Angeles Times.
“He knew he was in such a precarious situation. He was just scared to even rotate his head to look at us. He just didn’t want to move a muscle,” LASD Deputy Richard Thomsen told CBSLA.
Additionally, when the helicopter team arrived it wasn’t just a matter of simply hoisting the man to safety, as the air generated by the helicopter’s rotor would have sent the man plummeting to “imminent death,” Giandomenico added.
“Because he was head-down on the rock face there, that dropped probably a good 40 feet before it hit some soft dirt and a boulder,” Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Helbring said. “And beyond that was hundreds of feet down to the bottom of the canyon.”
Instead, one of the members of the special enforcement team composed of former SWAT officers devised a plan to rappel down to the man and move him to a ledge below, from which the two could be airlifted to safety.
However, due to a lack of boulders or trees, there was nothing to tie a rope to – and thus no way to rappel down to anything.
So instead, the special enforcement team used the man’s brother and another friend to be their anchor, a plan that ultimately succeeded.
Giandomenico called the rescue “one of the more significant, courageous maneuvers I’ve seen.”
“Heroic, in my opinion,” he added.
Scientists Create First-Ever Embryos With Monkey and Human Cells
For the first time, scientists have created embryos in a lab that contain the cells of both humans and monkeys.
Scientists hope that by creating chimeric embryos – embryos containing cells from two distinct species – they might be able to create organs for people who desperately need transplants.
Over 100,000 people in the United States lone are currently on a waiting list for organ transplants crucial to saving their lives, but the supply of donor organs has dropped significantly since the pandemic began unfolding.
Researchers have attempted to inject human stem cells into the embryos of pigs and sheep in recent years in hopes of growing organs for transplants, but this hasn’t yielded positive results. Scientists are hoping that by turning to macaque monkeys, which share a greater genetic similarity to humans, they may have more success.
In a study published Thursday in the journal Cell, researchers in the U.S. and China injected 25 pluripotent stem cells from humans into embryos from macaque monkeys.
After one day, the researchers detected human cells beginning to grow in 132 of the embryos. They embryos ultimately survived for 19 days.
However, bioethicists have raised concerns about the potential for abusing medical regulations that currently govern the treatment of animal and human subjects, as well as the possibility that a rogue scientists might potentially spike living creatures with human cells.
“My first question is: Why?” Kirstin Matthews, a science and technology fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told NPR. “I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we’re just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do.”
Researchers insist that the study serves purely humanitarian goals that could save countless lives in the future.
“This work is an important step that provides very compelling evidence that someday when we understand fully what the process is we could make them develop into a heart or a kidney or lungs,” said University of Michigan professor Jeffrey Platt, who was not involved in the study.
US Cop Shares Tiktok Video Showing How It’s Impossible To Confuse Taser for a Gun
In recent years, policing in the United States has received a much-needed reexamination, with many demanding changes to law enforcement or even its defunding and dismantling in light of high-profile killings committed by police officers.
However, one U.S. police officer has shared a video where he points out that in at least some fatal police encounters, simple common sense can save lives.
In a video shared to TikTok by user @brianb1504, the officer points out the differences between a pistol and a Taser. The video is a seeming response to the recent slaying of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by Minnesota police officer Kim Potter.
In the video, Officer Brian can be seen loading his belt with the firearm and less-lethal weapon, noting that his pistol is “dominant” while the bright yellow plastic taser is “not so dominant.”
“Huge weight difference, guys – I don’t understand how we can mistake a taser for a gun or a gun for a taser,” Brian continues.
“If you’re in the heat of the moment and you do something like that, you shouldn’t be doing this job,” he adds.
Continuing, Brian notes that he is sick and tired of the lousy state of police-community relations resulting from the actions of killer cops.
“I’m not going to put my life on the line to try and fix your stupidity and deal with restoring the peace with my public that I serve just because of your stupid actions,” Brian said.
“It makes no sense. 99 percent of our job is communication. You don’t have to be quick to pull out a gun or a taser on somebody and think everybody’s a threat,” he said. “Not everybody’s a threat. Try talking to them, get to know these people.”
While the account seems to have disappeared, it received upwards of 6 million views along with over 1.5 million likes and thousands of comments across the platform.
The video comes as the United States braces itself for more protests following the police killing of Daunte Wright by Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Police Chief Tim Gannon claims that Potter was trying to tase Wright but he died as a result of an “accidental discharge.”
Potter has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years behind bars and/or a $20,000 fine.
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