Trigger Warning: An Autistic child is shown injured after being shot by law enforcement. Video, images and interviews include injured child and traumatized parent. Sensory Warning: Flashing lights start in this video at 38 seconds.
Autistic Inclusive Meets USA strongly condemns actions taken by Utah law enforcement officers during a crisis intervention call that led to a 13-year-old autistic child to be shot multiple times and hospitalized. The officers involved need to be held accountable for their actions in a transparent and honest manner. Law enforcement, first responders and others in the area’s support system need to be educated in appropriate crisis intervention training to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Education is key for officers and parents. Many police officers don’t know much about Autism. Autistic people are often misunderstood by law enforcement because we move, think and communicate in different ways. This problem affects all disabled people, especially Deaf people, people with mental illness and cognitive disabilities. People of color are even more likely to be harmed. Parents and loved ones of Autistics need more support and education in learning how to speak and interact with emergency dispatchers, first responders and law enforcement, and the possible outcomes for their loved one experiencing crisis. The Utah community needs to actively support the goal of reducing harm and trauma when crisis care is needed. This horrific incident could’ve been prevented and needs not to happen again. We here at Autistic Inclusive Meets USA send well wishes to Linden Cameron for a swift recovery and to be home with his mom, Golda Barton, and loved ones again soon. May they all have the support of their community to heal and prevent the trauma of an incident like this happening in their community again. — Autistic Inclusive Meets USA