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Unarmed autistic boy, 13, shot by Salt Lake City cops will experience lifelong injuries 

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A 13-year-old autistic boy who was shot by police in Salt Lake City a little over a week ago is ‘lucky to be alive’ and will likely experience lifelong injuries, the family’s lawyer said Friday.

Linden, whom the family wants referred to only by his first name, remains hospitalized with bullets still in his body and is suffering from ‘pierced organs’ and ‘shattered bones,’ attorney Zach Weyher wrote in an email.

The shooting made national headlines during a time when advocates are calling for police reform targeting excessive force by officers.

‘Emergency assistance was requested to deescalate a situation involving a neurologically diverse child,’ Weyher wrote. ‘That request ended with an unarmed 13-year-old boy shot multiple times and lying on that ground as officers met him handcuffs rather than helping hands.’

Salt Lake Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement late Sunday that the shooting was a tragedy and called for a swift and transparent investigation. 

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Linden, whom the family wants referred to only by his first name, remains hospitalized with bullets still in his body and is suffering from ‘pierced organs’ and ‘shattered bones,’ attorney Zach Weyher wrote in an email

His family’s attorney said the 13-year-old is ‘lucky to be alive’ and will likely experience lifelong injuries after being shot by Salt Lake City police last week 

More details are expected emerge when police body camera footage is released, which is required within 10 days of an incident under a city ordinance.

Linden was shot on September 4 by police who responded to his mother’s call for a crisis intervention team (CIT) when her son started suffering severe separation anxiety over her going back to work. 

His mother, Golda Barton, said that police told her CIT would ‘deescalate the situation using the most minimal force possible’ at her Glendale home. 

Following the shooting, the emotional mother explained to East Idaho News that Linden ‘was scared’ and ‘he was running’ but he wasn’t being violent ‘at all’ when police arrived.

‘I just want to know why they would do such a thing. Like why, … why didn’t you do anything else, anything else.’ 

Linden was shot on September 4 by police who responded to his mother’s call for a crisis intervention team (CIT) when her son started suffering severe separation anxiety over her going back to work. Golda Barton is pictured during an interview following the shooting 

Police said the initial call was to a boy having a ‘mental episode … made threats to some folks with a weapon’. But no weapon was found.  

Linden, who has Asperger’s, was shot within minutes of officers arriving to Barton’s home.

According to Barton, within less than five minutes of the police arriving she heard an officer shout at the boy ‘get on the ground,’ before several shots were fired.

She said the officers told her to wait outside while they entered the property and then soon after she heard the gunshots.

Barton said she thought her son was dead because the officers didn’t immediately say what had happened.

In a separate interview, Barton told KUTV: ‘I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming. He’s a kid he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.’ 

She added: ‘He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.’ 

In addition, Barton said she heard one of the officers say to the other: ‘He’s just a child, what are you doing?’ 

Linden (pictured), suffered injuries to his shoulders, both ankles, intestines and bladder

Over the weekend a rally was held in Ogden that demanded justice for Linden 

Linden suffered injuries to his shoulders, both ankles, intestines and bladder.

A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for Linden’s medical expenses. As of Monday afternoon, it has raised more than $92,000. 

Barton also revealed: ‘Linden said you know what mommy, they didn’t hurt me. I didn’t feel it. I’m a Superman.’ 

Just days after the shooting, the Salt Lake City Police Department vowed to cooperate with multiple investigations.  

Police said that each time there is a shooting incident involving an officer, ‘a protocol team made up of officers from multiple agencies with no ties to the Salt Lake City Police Department conducts an independent investigation’.

‘We are cooperating fully with the protocol team assigned to this case,’ a police statement read.

The department added that the city’s ‘Civilian Review Board and our own Internal Affairs will also conduct parallel separate investigations’.

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