LOCAL NEWS

Family of teen with autism who was shot by police reach settlement

Sep 20, 2022, 4:45 PM | Updated: 11:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a 13-year-old boy with autism shot multiple times by police announced they have reached a settlement with the city and SLC Police Department.

In a statement from the family it states, “Linden’s family filed a lawsuit in federal court for a violation of his constitutional right to be free from excessive force. The family also maintains that the SLCPD and the shooting officer acted recklessly leading up to the moment of the shooting because they knew Linden was experiencing a mental health crisis and knew that he would run from officers; yet those officers chased him down and shot him.”

The mother, Golda Barton, called 911 for help when her son, Linden Cameron, had a mental health episode.

Police shot the teen several times, but Cameron survived the attack with serious injuries.

The case made headlines around the state and caused for calls for better mental health training by law enforcement officers.

The family filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake City Police Department, which they announced had been settled Tuesday.

Family Files Lawsuit After Teenage Son With Autism Shot By SLC Police

The statement explains, “Today the family announces that the lawsuit has been settled. We understand that this is the largest settlement paid by SLC in a § 1983 shooting case of this type. Although the family remains confident that a jury would support their claims, the settlement represents a desire to provide for Linden’s long-term care, to minimize the family’s emotional trauma associated with the shooting, and to resolve the case outside of formal litigation.”

The family listed multiple efforts of the Salt Lake City Police Department to provide crucial mental health training and improve their education around children with sensory needs, like Linden.

“The family believes that the events around this case and the settlement announced today are crucial steps towards increasing awareness of those with mental health challenges – our friends, family members, and neighbors who need our love and support. It is also an important step towards training first responders to meet these needs with the empathy, compassion, and
necessary skills that the public expects from its first responders. More importantly, it is an important recognition of the tragedy Linden and his family have endured.”

Salt Lake City Police Department released the following statement in regards to the settlement:

“On the night of September 4, 2020, L.C., the son of Golda Barton and Michael Cameron, was shot following a mental health crisis and a foot pursuit involving a Salt Lake City Police Department officer. Today, the civil lawsuit filed against the City is settled.

While the settlement is not an admission of liability, the parties agree that L.C.’s shooting was a tragedy. The settlement represents combined efforts to reach a compromise that resolves this case outside of formal litigation and provides L.C. with resources for long-term, lifetime care. 

Following the events of September 4, 2020, and because L.C. has Autism, Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake City Police Department moved immediately to provide more comprehensive training for officers on how to best engage with people who have sensory needs. The City partnered with KultureCity to provide Certified Sensory Inclusive training for all of its first responders – SLCPD, SLCFD and 911 Dispatch. 

This advanced training was the first of its kind for a police department in the United States, and has inspired many departments across the nation to embark on the same training. 

Salt Lake City continues its commitment to training its first responders for sensory inclusive needs, and actively seeks out opportunities to provide its first responders with learning tools that help them to best engage with members of the public who rely on them.”

The family continues to wait for possible criminal charges filed against the shooting officer.

“We now await the decision by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office regarding whether criminal charges will be brought against the shooting officer. We urge Sim Gill and the DA’s
office to announce its decision which is long overdue.”

 

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Family of teen with autism who was shot by police reach settlement