It Could Be Months. . .

. . . And perhaps more than a year before reviews of the Linden Cameron shooting by Salt Lake City police are completed. (Linden, a 13-year-old victim of Asperger’s syndrome, absorbed eleven bullets from a policeman’s service pistol on the night of Sept. 4, yet survived and remains in serious condition.)

Linden Cameron

The link below, to the latest update on Linden’s story, discusses this likelihood. The story was reported and written by Heidi Hatch and Mackenzie Ryan of KJZZ television in Salt Lake City.

https://kjzz.com/news/officer-involved-accountability

Months. Perhaps more than a year.

Months? Why months?!

Mundane reasons. Case backlogs. Scant resources to investigate them. That sort of thing. Since January of 2011, the Salt Lake City area has seen one hundred four shootings by police. Of these, only eight have been ruled “unjustified”–a fair microcosm of the national picture. Charges were filed in just three of the eight “unjustified” shootings, Hatch and Ryan report.

All three of those cases were dismissed.

Nine other unreviewed cases are piled on top of Linden Cameron’s.

And so Linden and his mother Golda Barton will wait. And wait. And wait. The state of waiting and its attendant stress, for one bureaucratic reason or another, is familiar to thousands of families trying to safeguard a mentally ill loved one, or to seek justice for that victim.

Below my September 22 blog on Linden’s case, a reader posted: “I will wait to see all the evidence.” I respect this reader’s sense of fairness. Yet we may never “see all the evidence.” That blog included a murky 36-second excerpt of body-cam recording released by the Salt Lake City police department. It shows a wandering pool of harsh light (presumably the camera light) surrounded by darkness. Linden can be glimpsed walking away from the camera before he disappears into the dark. We hear gunshots when the pool of light finds him again, he is writhing on the sidewalk. Then he turns over onto his left side and stops moving. We can hear him say,

“I don’t feel good. Tell Mom I love her.”

The body-cam footage below apparently covers the full length of the police video. It lasts 1 minute 40 seconds, some of the extra length showing police leaving their patrol car and yelling at Linden before the gunfire. It was posted on YouTube by the website RAW. 

This footage also shows that Linden broke into a run after walking a few paces. The police pursue him in a 45-second footrace, yelling for him to “Get on the ground.” Then the shots and the boy’s moaning voice as he lies wounded on the sidewalk.

And that’s about it.

So: Linden Cameron and his mother, not to mention the police officers involved, probably will have to wait for up to a year, and maybe longer, before the investigative bureaucracy gets around to this case.

The great 19th-century British prime minister William Gladstone is credited with the maxim, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Gladstone should have stuck around.

In a year’s time, pending investigations often lose their initial urgency. Public opinion and news coverage dissipate. The indignation of civic leaders cools. The cop shooting of a mentally ill boy, which initially drew international attention, grows stale in the files. The investigative bodies–in this case, they include an outside police department and the Salt Lake City department as well–tend to lose whatever incentive they may have had to render judgment against their own. The Linden Cameron case becomes something of an abstraction. Besides, it was dark. The camera dances around. Who, really, can say what happened? (Who, really, by this time, cares?)

“I will wait to see all the evidence.” A reasonable and honorable suspension of judgment.

Bring a book of crossword puzzles or something.

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

“I DON’T FEEL GOOD. TELL MOM I LOVE HER.”

Below is a link to a body-cam video of the Salt Lake City police shooting of the autistic 13-year-old Linden Cameron on the night of September 4. The footage was released on Monday, Sept. 21.

Linden’s mother, Golda Barton, had made the mistake of calling the police to get the boy, who was in a psychotic state, to a hospital. Linden survived the tender attentions of the police and remains in serious condition.

The video contains graphic content that viewers may find disturbing. (Actually, viewers SHOULD find it disturbing!)


I counted eleven shots–eleven!–from the policeman’s service revolver, a count also reported in local news coverage.

It is dark, and so you cannot see Linden being shot. But as the clip ends, you can hear him say: “I don’t feel good. Tell Mom I love her.”


This could have been either of my sons. https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/09/21/bodycam-shows-salt-lake/

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

“You know what mommy, they didn’t hurt me. I didn’t feel it. I’m a Superman.” –Linden Cameron

. . . But Linden will suffer for the rest of his life. Most of the bullets fired by Salt Lake City police on September 4 into his 13-year-old body–shoulders, intestines, bladder–are still there and may never be removed. The shots that shattered both his ankles apparently didn’t lodge.

Linden Cameron. Photo Credit: Wesley Barton

The “investigation” into the cops’ behavior drags into its tenth day. Salt Lake City police promised the release of body-cam footage by “10 business days after the incident.” That would be Friday.


For background on Linden’s story–which has drawn international media attention–see more of my blogs on noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com


For recent updates, click on the links below:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/linden039s-medical-bills


https://meaww.com/unarmed-autistic-boy-13-shot-by-salt-lake-city-cops-has-bullets-in-his-body-lifelong-injuries


https://heavy.com/news/2020/09/golda-barton/ 

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

WOW QUE SORPRESA!!!

(As they say in Old May-He-Ho)

Sorry; still steaming, still sarcastic.

The story below confirms what I suspected from the outset: the Salt Lake City police chief is going to smother the investigation into the Linden Cameron atrocity–13-year-old autistic boy shot several times by a cop–as long as he can get away with it, which may be forever.

Linden Cameron

Somehow it didn’t pull at my heartstrings to read that the chief discussed the shooting in a radio interview with “emotion clear in his voice.” It has been eight days, at this writing, since Linden was drilled. Is the chief waiting for the deadeye officer to finish writing his memoir?

KSL News Radio interview with Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown and former chief Chris Burbank

Actually, the chief has announced that there will be four investigations (he said three, but then added another): one by an “outside police agency,” one by the district attorney’s office, and an internal investigation into whether there were any policy violations. (Duh.)

If there turn out to have been no policy violations, perhaps the policy could use a rewrite: Nix on firing several bullets into an unarmed panic-stricken boy.

The fourth investigation will be conducted by a “Citizen Review Board.” Such boards have earned respect in many cities, but police unions tend to detest them.

Maybe those four separate probes will produce a unified conclusion that shooting Linden–whose mother had called the police to help calm the boy during a psychotic spell–was an unnecessary and borderline criminal action.

Maybe, but don’t count on it. The more “investigations” pour into an incident like this one, the better the chances of a compromised finding: especially when at least two of those “investigation” entities share institutional DNA with the perpetrator. 

Still, at least one former law-enforcement officer has criticized the “investigation” delay. Here is a significant pullout from near the end of the Deseret News story by reporter Amy Donaldson:

“[F] ormer Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank, who appeared on the Dave and Dujanovic show immediately after Brown, said police could be more transparent if they wanted to, and it wouldn’t compromise investigations.

“This is the mistake being made across the country time and time again. The nation has stood up and said, we have a problem and we need to discuss this. And the response from policing locally and across the nation is, ‘Well, we’re going to talk about it, investigate it, and we’ll tell you about it later.’ That is not satisfactory.”

Brave and eloquent words from a former police chief, as Linden’s story spreads around the world. Let’s see how much weight they carry in his hometown.

Mother of Linden Cameron speaks out: ‘Why didn’t you just tackle him?’

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

DAY 7 OF LINDEN’S ORDEAL

“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.” –Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall last Sunday, two days after the autistic 13-Linden Cameron was shot several times by a city police officer. Linden remains in serious condition.


It has been a week. We are waiting, Madame Mayor.

Linden Cameron


https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/09/07/salt-lake-city-mayor/

https://civilrights.org/2020/09/09/the-leadership-conference-on-civil-and-human-rights-statement-on-the-shooting-of-linden-cameron/

https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/people-mental-illness-more-likely-be-shot-police

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

UPDATE ON LINDEN CAMERON

On Tuesday I posted a blog about Linden Cameron, the 13-year-old Salt Lake City boy who was shot repeatedly by a police officer, whom his mother had called to help him through a psychotic episode.

Linden Cameron

This blog will be brief: Linden is in serious condition—he somehow survived—in a Salt Lake City hospital. Two private citizens have started fundraisers for the medical bills that would otherwise overwhelm his mother. Their links are here https://www.gofundme.com/f/24rhnm8shc  and here https://www.gofundme.com/f/linden039s-medical-bills.


Linden’s story has been picked up by newspaper, broadcast, and online outlets around the world. Below is the New York Times account. I will have more to say on this.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/us/salt-lake-city-autism-shooting.html

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

WELL, THIS RIDS THE STREETS OF AT LEAST ONE 13-YEAR-OLD UNARMED AUTISTIC CHILD WHOSE MOTHER HAD CALLED THE POLICE FOR HELP!

Pardon the sarcasm. I am steaming. We’re still in Bedlam. The mad, including afflicted children, are still getting gunned down by cops who are clueless, untrained, or worse. Linden Cameron of Salt Lake City, riddled with police bullets on Friday for the crime of running in fear and confusion, has survived, so far. Yet our severely brain-damaged mental healthcare system–including jails, prisons, and vicious trigger-happy cops–remains mired in its historic ignorance, incompetence and, yes, cruelty.

Linden Cameron

We look, we pray, to our political leaders to at least keep “crazy people” from the worst of it; from incidents like this. A little kid, dammit! Instead–irony of ironies–the current political campaign season, as deranged in its way as are our systems of care–has managed only to push this urgent issue further into the dark margins.

This despite the unflagging work of reform advocates such as Leslie and Scott Carpenter, who pled our community’s case to every Democratic presidential candidate who passed through Iowa this summer. And the sisters C.J. Hanson and Linda Rippee, who have battled across decades to secure help for their drastically damaged street-wandering brother Mark, only to be met with stony indifference from pols at the municipal, county and state levels in California. You may find their story scattered through several entries in this blog.

And many, many  others.

To essentially no avail.

It just seems that no one cares about crazy people.

I sit here at my computer screen and I think: 13-year-old. Unarmed. In a mental crisis. His mother calls the police. And a wolfpack of cops shows up and empties several rounds of bullets into his small young body. Intestines. Bladder. Shoulder. Ankles.

Ankles?!

Linden Cameron

Bob Dylan’s lyric in “Oxford Town,” released fifty-eight years ago, remains the definitive commentary on the subject:

“Somebody better ‘vestigate soon.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/09/08/linden-cameron-utah-autistic-shooting/

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron