Utah Cop on Bodycam: 'It's Going to End in a Shooting'

Officer worried about 13-year-old boy suffering mental break who 'hates cops'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2020 7:44 AM CDT

Body camera footage shows a Salt Lake City police officer firing 11 shots at a 13-year-old boy suffering a mental health episode, who responds, "I don't feel good. Tell my mom I love her." The footage released Monday shows the Sept. 4 shooting of Linden Cameron, who suffered numerous gunshot wounds, and the events preceding it, per the Salt Lake Tribune. Officers are heard discussing how to respond to a call by Linden's mother, Golda Barton, who'd asked for a crisis intervention officer. One female officer questions why they are doing an "approach" into a home for a "psych problem." "We could call sergeant and tell him the situation," she says. "Because I'm not about to get in a shooting because he's upset." "Yeah," responds the officer who would later shoot Linden, per the Tribune. "Especially when he hates cops, it's going to end in a shooting."

Barton had told the dispatcher that police were a "trigger" for her son. She said he'd previously been in "a shootout" with police in Nevada and might be carrying a BB or pellet gun, which he'd used to threaten someone, per the Guardian. "I just don't want him to die," she said. When officers arrived, Barton told them she needed her son to go to a hospital. Linden then ran from police. The officer opened fire after a 90-second foot chase, in which Linden was directed to get on the ground and show his hands. A weapon was never found. Wesley Barton, 17, tells the Tribune that his brother—reportedly the youngest person to be shot by Utah police—remains in the hospital, has lost feeling in an arm, has trouble speaking, and may never walk normally again. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill will determine if the shooting was justified. (More police shooting stories.)

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