Autistic child gunned down by Salt Lake City Police

Linden Cameron, 13, recovering in the hospital after being shot multiple times by an unidentified Salt Lake City Police officer

‘Salt Lake City police engage in a cover-up after shooting autistic 13-year-old boy multiple times, Jacob Crosse, 10 September 2020, wsws.org (with permission)

“Sparking international outrage, 13-year-old Linden Cameron remains in serious condition at the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, after a still unidentified police officer with the Salt Lake City Police Department shot him multiple times Friday while he was suffering a mental health crisis in his home.

News of the heinous shooting of a young unarmed child has rippled through the world with autistic persons, their families, friends and community members taking to social media to voice their support and horror. A Go Fund Me page established for Linden’s medical bills has already exceeded $75,000 as of this writing. [at $85,539 this a.m.]

Exemplifying the brutal class nature of police violence, the shooting of Cameron, who is white, comes less than a week after police body camera footage was released showing the March 23 police killing of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old black man in Rochester, New York.

In both instances concerned family members reached out to emergency services to assist loved ones experiencing a mental health crisis and in both cases police responded with deadly force, killing Prude and leaving Linden with a long, painful road to recovery.

Golda Barton, Cameron’s mother, in interviews with KSL TV and KUTV, says her son has injuries to his shoulder, both ankles, intestines and bladder. Barton had called emergency services and requested a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) to assist her in transporting her son, who had previously been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, to the hospital. Barton was under the impression that police would use “the most minimal force possible.”

Barton had just returned to work for the first time in a year last Friday, leaving Cameron at home. According to Barton, her son “has bad separation anxiety” and she received a call at work that he was having an emotional episode. As Barton drove home she called 911 and requested a CIT officer to come help.

According to a spokesman for the Salt Lake City Police Department, detective Michael Ruff, all of the officers are “certified” in de-escalation techniques and new recruits are required to have 40 hours of crisis-intervention training.

We’re very comfortable with the program we used and with the individuals who are teaching it,” Ruff said in an interview with the Associated Press following the shooting. While declining to state what steps or decisions might have led the police to unload multiple rounds into a child, Ruff reiterated, “there’s more than one way to be CIT trained.”

While on the phone with emergency services Barton explained that her son was unarmed and that “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.”

According to Barton, once Cameron saw the officers arrive at the house he got scared and ran away. Barton met officers at the front door of her home, who told her to go wait in her car, while they apprehended her son. Barton recalled in an emotional interview that within five minutes she heard officers yell at her son, “get down on the ground,” followed by several gunshots.”

I prefer this one, as both mum and older brother speak:

“I heard the guns and the yelling and the guns, and then I sat there in my car for what felt like a long time and I was waiting for someone to walk over to me because I didn’t know what just happened,” Barton explained. “And I was like OK, um, OK … they just unloaded a whole clip in my son, and probably he’s dead because he’s so small.”

Barton says she then saw police put handcuffs on her son as he was laying silent on the ground. She says she did not know if he was alive or dead and officers refused to tell her why they shot him. “He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.”

Linden’s older brother Wesley Cameron spoke to local media regarding Linden’s injuries: “He said he can’t feel any feeling in his left hand. From my understanding he got shot in both feet,” Wesley said. “So now we’ll never be able to do the things we used to do, like longboard and play video games together.”

Barton continued, “You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources. Come on. Give me a break.”  […]

Police, as is standard procedure when covering up their crimes, are refusing to release any information pertaining to the incident including how many times Cameron was shot or why the officer determined it was necessary to use deadly force on a child who weighs less than 100 pounds. Bodycam footage of the incident does exist, however the department has stated it will not release it for “10 business days…as this is an active investigation.”

Immediately after the shooting in an early Saturday morning press conference, Salt Lake City police spokesman Sergeant Keith Horrocks trotted out the standard justifications for police brutality, stating that officers were called to the address for a “violent psych issue” involving a juvenile “having a mental episode” and “making threats to some folks with a weapon.”

“…looking at the body cam footage that may be available from the officers involved…”

“As of this writing, no “weapon” has been recovered. In follow up interviews, Barton has denied that her son was violent towards officers or that he had a weapon.

Demonstrating the “transparent” attitude endemic to police departments around the world who routinely cover-up and get away with vicious crimes against working class adults and youth, Salt Lake City Detective Greg Wilking, in an interview with CNN, refused to state whether Cameron had a weapon, or “what the officers’ perceived threats were,” adding, “Mom can say whatever she wants, but there’s this investigation that has to happen and this process that has to take place.” […]

“A study conducted by the Treatment Advocacy Center found that people with severe untreated mental illnesses are 16 times more likely to be killed by police and are involved in nearly 1 in 4 fatal police shootings. The question of allocating appropriate and necessary resources and training so that all have access to the necessary health care is a class question. It cannot be resolved through “reforming” or “defunding police” who do not exist to protect workers and their families, but to safeguard the interests of the ruling elite and violently dispatch any “perceived threats,” no matter how small, to themselves.

In stark contrast to the brutal indifference the police have shown Barton and her family, on social media thousands of people have come forward to share their outrage and similar stories. One commenter wrote on Facebook, “As a father of an autistic 14 year old [who] is very similar, I am more than furious. My son has had a number of run-ins with the police, when his emotions overwhelm him, and we have been lucky. However, one deputy warned me to ‘deal with him myself, because I’ll hurt him if I do it.’ Now I am afraid to call them at all. For good reason.”

A family member of mine and Mr. wd’s is both autistic and 13, and has run away from home numerous times over the past few months.  His parents sic the police on him, they toss him into a mental hospital, he gets sent home, and the cycles repeat.  Given that we’re totally unable to help him (save for prayers and sweet-grass smoke blessings), we’re forced to compartmentalize our piercing pain and sickness over the horrors he’s experiencing…just to be able to get on with our days. Oh, the poor little Woozle; we hope one day someone will ask to hear his story, and he'll tell it.

You may also be interested in:  ‘Florida sheriff’s department creates intelligence-led police program to monitor and harass residents’, Alex Johnson, 8 September 2020, wsws.org

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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One of the police reforms must be firing incompetent or overly violent cops. NY did a study on how many violent encounters occurred when cops made an arrest. They found that a minority of cops were responsible for the majority the most violent encounters. It is not hard to find which cops to force out of the department.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

been an arrest, but as to this:

NY did a study on how many violent encounters occurred when cops made an arrest. They found that a minority of cops were responsible for the majority the most violent encounters.

may i ask who did the NY study? and came up with 'a few bad apples' conclusion?

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usefewersyllables's picture

@wendy davis

"few bad apples" cliche is this:

When you add a teaspoon of wine to a barrel of sewage, you get sewage. But when you add a teaspoon of sewage to a barrel of wine, you still get sewage.

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10 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@usefewersyllables

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

16 were dismissed including the one where he killed someone and the cops and attorney general turned a blind eye to it. Who was that AG? Why it was Amy Klobochar who was Biden's 1st VP choice, but she was too hot to put on the ticket in this environment. So Biden went with Kamala Harris instead. Yeah we know her history.

The 4 cops are turning on each other and blaming everyone but themselves for what happened to Floyd.

“Here, all four Defendants worked together to murder Floyd: Chauvin, Kueng, and Lane pinned Floyd face-down, while Thao stopped the crowd from intervening, enabling the other Defendants to maintain their positions. Defendants also discussed and coordinated their actions throughout the incident,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

Yeah Chauvin absolutely knew that Floyd was:

.....that Chauvin believes Floyd was overdosing on fentanyl.

One comment:

Except for he wasn't murdered. Like you said, thank goodness there is video. The recent police body cam video shows GF claimed he couldn't breath way before someone had their knee on the back of his neck. The video also shows GF refusing to be restrained for over 10 min, including forcing his way out of a cop car and then onto the ground, where he asked to stay. But in case video isn't enough, we also have the medical examiner saying his death was 100% an over dose of drugs and would have happened regardless of whether the cops showed up.But you aren't alone. Until recently, I too thought he was murdered and wanted these guys convicted. Good thing we have video evidence and science to prove that he wasn't. I just hope these guys aren't convicted out of social pressure.

The centrists are upset that Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief of USA Today and who is doing the debate between Pence/Harris had thrown a party for Trump's Medicare/Medicaid woman back in 2018. Many of them think Kamala is going to kick Pence's buttocks because of reasons. Someone pointed out that Kamala hadn't done that well when Tulsi took her down. lol... great comeback.

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13 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

even though Biden wants to give cops more money. The DC mayor is a democrat.

THIS time fed charges, urged by DC Mayor, incl using any fireworks that night to individually charge “assault on an officer”.

Thread

AS is the governor of Oregon. Newsom's state of California is on fire and he is tweeting about how we need to address climate change even though he keeps authorizing drilling and fracking across the state. Then there was that blowhard Obama who said that our lives depend on voting even though he ..........plus opened the country to drilling and fracking.

Magaret Kimberly:

“You wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president. That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas that was me, people.”
- Barack Obama

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14 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Lily O Lady's picture

my Aspie son to in-patient care, his psychiatrist would be required to call police. I made sure the police did not become involved.

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17 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

wendy davis's picture

@Lily O Lady

you DO take your Aspie son to in-patient care but his psychiatrist has greed not to call the police?

it must have been rough at times parenting an Aspie son. our adopted daughter has reactive attachment disorder, and most of the time it was hell. no one even new what that meant back in the early 80s.

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usefewersyllables's picture

there is something fundamentally flawed about any society in which the first reaction of an ordinary citizen to the sight of a cop is fear.

I've been shaken down several times, had a cop threaten to sic his K-9 on me when I had the misfortune to walk out my door while they were shaking someone else down, and most recently (just a few months ago) I got to sit here sheltering-in-place, to wait for the bullets to come through the walls while they SWATted a house down the block. It is getting worse: I'm certainly glad that we haven't been near any of the protests thus far.

When I see cops, I head the other way with all possible speed. You never know when that friendly smile you might once have been inclined to give them would now be interpreted as a mortal insult and give them a reason to ballistically "fear for their life" you to death. "Don't make eye contact!" is now the rule, and my wife and I have agreed at long last that the cops are not to be called for anything less than a full-scale riot. They are no longer the friendly folks she likes to watch on the teevee (if in fact they ever have been since outright militarization became the norm). We are all now enemy combatants.

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18 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@usefewersyllables

most ordinary citizens are afraid of the cops, but isn't that what they depend on? plus demanding instant obedience to their commands. one of the videos i'd found with miz barton testifying ended with an old woman with two tiny dogs saying she loved the police.

but i do suspect that color, class, urban, rural come into play as well.

i've never been shaken down, arrested, and i still fear them. i was friends with a county sheriff here for a time, but he was some fresh air after decades of horrid and corrupt bullies.

did you know there's a weekly cop show starring tom selleck as the NYP commissioner? it's so great to see a continual ad for 'broken windows' policing! (we'd watched a few complete seasons our local library has.

now i will say that our adopted son is black/azteca, and he's been rousted plenty by Bored Pigs who've even taken him in to their station, shackled him, no pee breaks, no water, for hour on end.

but small wonder you make haste in the opposite direction, usefewersyllables!

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usefewersyllables's picture

@wendy davis

"comply or die". The enormity of that is not lost on me.

I posted a thing yesterday gently complaining about my wife's TV viewing habits- she absolutely loves cop/lawyer shows. As a result, we have watched (and during lockdown, rewatched, and re-re-watched...) all the Blue Bloods, Good Wives, Boston Legals, and all of those other cop/lawyer shows ad nauseam. Blue Bloods at least occasionally shows bad cops, but then the good-hearted family members See The Light and magically Make Everything All Better from inside the PC's and DA's offices. And then Tom Selleck sighs heavily, and everybody has dinner together and it all ends well.

I frankly regard that show as rank propaganda, based upon how the actual cops and DAs I'm aware of ply their trades. I guess that that's one of the reasons that I absolutely hate those shows. They lead credulous people to believe that the cops and the prosecutors might be their friends, when they most assuredly are not (unless you have essentially infinite money, of course).

But then, you have to realize that I basically agree with Lily Tomlin when she said "No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up"... YMMV!

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12 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@usefewersyllables

blue bloods is a six-season (or however many) continual ad for the Po-Po. in reality, it's been billy bratton (twice, iirc), bernie kerrick, and a third one i can't recall as Commissioner. broken windows policing...and of course worse.

wasn't it deBlasio who'd recently said they'd defund the police a yittle bit, and create some after-school programs?

still, i see it almost as satire, but it's a shame because selleck is actually a really good actor in the Jesse Stone (written by robert parker) series.

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snoopydawg's picture

I don't know what it's going to take for people to stop giving cops the benefit of doubt every damn time they shoot someone. Maybe if it happens to someone in their family, ward or neighborhood they will take off their cop worshipping blinders, but somehow I doubt that. On any article of police shootings here the police defenders come out in droves to back the blue. Protesters are bad. Blacks should just listen and do what cops tell them to do and they won't get shot. How hard is it to do that? Well apparently it's very hard because people are doing what cops tell them and yet still getting shot.

This was good to see:

Sharp criticism from former chief in shooting of teen with autism

Chris Burbank, a former Salt Lake City police chief, disagreed that the department is now being transparent.

“This is the mistake that’s being made across the country time and time again,” Burbank said. “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 and investigate it, and then we’ll tell you about it later.’ That is not satisfactory. If we cannot respond as a police agency to a 13-year-old child who has autism without shooting him — I don’t know if we should be in this business.”

Burbank continued, “I’m tired of having this discussion. It is time to change the rules, change how we do business and change how we investigate this. Give the public some information about what is taking place. It does not sacrifice the outcome by any means. At least stand up and say, ‘We’re sorry that this happens.’”

The shooting happened on the sidewalk along Navajo Street. In a separate interview with KUTV, Barton said she was told by a witness that another officer who was with the one who fired his weapon, could be seen grabbing his head in disbelief and saying out loud, “He’s just a child, what are you doing?”

A few typical comments:

Transparency is a slippery slope because it rarely documents the entire event, so releasing to the public can have drastic consequences on justice and a fair trial.

They already are EXTREMELY held accountable each time they draw a weapon.

And as far as the FORMER chief, I'm fairly certain that when he was in charge, the last thing he would have wanted was a FORMER cop spouting a his current civilian opinion. He needs to stay retired and let the actual authorities complete their investigation.

I find it's all to easy to condemn police actions, and it's wrong to do so without having all sides of the story. In my opinion the vast, vast majority of law enforcement officers are genuinely good people trying to do a very difficult job, often in life-threatening situations. They deserve the benefit of the doubt, and they deserve our respect and our support.

Former Police Chief Burbank was forced to resign because of "his" own lack of transparency in a sexual harassment scandal involving a Lt. and several female officers amid other closed door deals. So why are we listening to him preach about transparency??? Asking for a friend.

The statement from Senators Escamilla and Romero is premature at the least, and potentially dangerous.How would they know that other techniques could have or should have been used? No investigation has taken place and even the body cam video hasn't been released.This kind of rush to judgment is exactly what has inflamed tensions around the country and led to many unnecessary deaths.Such a dangerous lack of judgment and temperance from these senators suggests they are unfit for office, harming more than helping, inflaming more than calming.

Everyone but the officers there in that moment have the luxury of hindsight. It is very easy to analyze and question after the fact. I don't know the answer but I do know that no officer can predict what a fleeing individual may do to someone else.
.......

These are mild compared to other stories when cops murder adults.You should have seen the excuses made for the murder/torture death of George Floyd.

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13 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

as your links look interesting at the very least, but after having been depressed as hell by the various reports of day 2 and 3 of the assange extradtion show trial, then this, including this addition:

said relative just left some weird voice mail as to what to expect for austistic 13-yr-old son. i'll make a noon meal, then need some rest. back when i can kinda/sorta get my shit moderately together.

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edg's picture

@snoopydawg You wrote "here the police defenders come out in droves to back the blue". Are you talking about c99? I haven't seen that here.

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

the local SLC comments on her ksl.com links. on edit: i was a bit confused at first.

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Military equipment, Israeli trainers, prosecutors and juries, news media, entertainment propaganda, America is transforming the police. America is transforming. Hitler and Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao were failed tests; the next idea, the American idea, will be violent totalitarian dictatorship by Eichmann and Elmer Gantry and Babbitt.

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On to Biden since 1973

vtcc73's picture

with Asperger's long ago. Thinking back to his big incident at school I realize it's close to the 21st anniversary of that day when things got real.

We had moved across town in 1996. J was starting 4th grade. Elementary school had been excellent but middle school in that district was known to be horrible. We didn't know we had an Aspie but only that the very intelligent, sweet kid had something going on. The schools in the new county were some of the top rated in the state. Unfortunately, we found that the elementary school principal had no business being allowed within 500' of a school or students. She made sure that every student who was not mostly dead middle of normal was driven off to another school. Any request for additional services was greeted with strong pressure to go elsewhere. J lasted a month before we found a private school that seemed to fit. It didn't but the next three years were in two different private schools.

The second private school had a poor 7th grade and higher program so we decided to send J to public middle school. Wouldn't you know it but the elementary school principal had been promoted. I spent the month before school started working with the student advisor, special ed chair, vice principal, and the principal preparing them for how to work with J. His professional help also tried too. We knew what we were going to face but there was no alternative.

This was 1999. I had finished the 4th day, Thursday, of my DC-10 ground school and arrived at my hotel room with the call light flashing. Ten messages from my wife said I needed to get home now. J was in juvenile detention having been arrested at the insistence of the principal. She had badgered him alone in her office for three hours before she could get him to make what she could call threats. I managed to book a seat home, pack, and get to the airport in less than 30 minutes.

Talking all night I heard a tale that in today's environment would be chilling. An almost 5' tall 70# harmless kid was in jail with a Friday afternoon court date. I got a call at 8:00 from the principal asking where we were. She had used to afternoon to put together the meeting I'd been begging for since late June to develop an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for J. It wasn't possible I'd been told. But suddenly, when we showed up 25 minutes later, we found 23 school officials from the district, teachers, and a sheriff deputy (I bet you can't guess who was my shadow that morning) crammed into a conference room. I lasted about an hour listening to what a shit student J was, how he was impossible to control, and that he was considered a threat before I stopped the whole show. The teachers had done nothing we had suggested including our offer to be in class with him. They had instead spent considerable time documenting every action he'd taken in three weeks of school. Of course, all that extra work prevented the teachers and staff, I'd spent time with them all, had no time to apply the effective strategies for including J and getting his compliance and cooperation. Everything we and the pros had told them was ignored to build a case for getting rid of him. Fortunately, two ladies from the district special ed office were on our side and proved to be strong allies over the next 8 years.

The judge was not happy with the principal by the time the hearing was over. J was obviously not a threat and the judge had seen her act many, many times before. The problem was this was the fall following Columbine. The only way out of detention was to go to the Vandy's children's psche hospital for a week. There his doctor, also head of the hospital, finally agreed that J was no threat. He also proved beyond any shadow of a doubt he hadn't the slightest clue what he was doing. The second bright spot was a nurse who gave us the name of a psychologist with extensive experience with autistic kids. Diane would be our anchor through J's college years. She was an excellent clinician who knew had mastered the bureaucratic games. She proved invaluable getting him what he needed if not always what he wanted.

The best part came in chambers with the judge at the hearing where he released J. The judge had been harsh with the principal in chambers at the first hearing. At the second in chambers he promised her that she would be the one going to jail the next time he brought a kid before him under similar circumstances. Unfortunately, she was the girlfriend of the school district superintendent (who had run the kangaroo court IEP meeting) . She was otherwise untouchable and just got more skilled at avoiding having to deal with kids who needed anything extra.

Today, they'd just find a way to shoot the kid. I'm sure glad those days are long gone for us. I fear for the thousands of kids who are just a little different too. What a mess.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

usefewersyllables's picture

@vtcc73
don't even bother looking for a reason anymore: they just do it for sport. (cf. "The Executioners" police gang).

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@vtcc73

saga, and thank you for taking the time to report it all. what you and your wife (not to mention J) went thru, and yet were so doggedly determined to get the sort of supporters educators J needed and in the end, you found allies for him! the story of the final judge's remarks about Principal Poo were priceless! how devastating that she just got more adept at bullshitting other officials.

in our local schools, teachers are demoted to special ed and chapter (extra reading and math help), almost none have chosen to be educated in special needs. one special ed fucker actually grabbed a young kid by the shirt too discipline him; i took him aside and gave him fair warning. another told me that she 'has all the dumb kids'.

one 4th grade Master Teacher told me that our daughter (who seems to have fetal alcohol effect, IQ about 70) could always learn to fold towels to make a living. (bio-mom was an alcoholic)

as a side note, the family member who'd phoned mr. wd's cell and left a garbled voice mail said close to: 'dept of human services' (DHS) will be calling relatives, then...something something. is it to check if he's here? or if we would foster him? would that we could, but we're too old, broke, and i can't even drive in a car any longer, save as luggage. schools are crap... my heart's just breaking for him.

on edit: is J with you in ecuador?

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vtcc73's picture

@wendy davis than it sounds. He was at the alternative school for two totally wasted years due to what the principal did. J was reading on a post graduate college level when he was seven. His idea of fun reading was stuff like my wife's college anatomy book. There were gaps in his education that popped up to add layers to dealing with the inevitable learning disabilities and the social and emotional chaos a teenage Aspie endures. I can honestly say I don't know how he did so well. Good professional help who kept us on the right path is probably the major reason.

It would be easy to be bitter about the whole thing. High school was completely different. It was no picnic. My best buddy was the vice principal. I bet Tim got cold sweats every time he had to deal with us which was often. "Tim, you know as well as I do that that is a manifestation of his disability." and "Tim, you and I can come to an understanding and solve this or I'll let my wife handle this." always jerked a knot in his tail. He did know and he sure as hell didn't want to deal with my wife. Finding a solution so everyone got what they needed was preferable to facing someone who only wanted to get her way as painfully for him as possible.

Plus the district knew they had screwed the pooch setting up J and having him arrested. We definitely had the resources for a very ugly lawsuit they would get murdered in. It like so much was leverage when the bureaucracy dug in and couldn't be reasonable. We had been convinced to be completely open in our dealings with the HS. We built trust and were willing to help the school, administration, and teachers by finding mutually beneficial solutions. We could have stood on our rights to privacy but would have lost more in return. Even a huge mistake by an English teacher that caused quite a furor was let go as an understandable error by an untrained, though very experienced senior teacher. She accepted her part in the error and ended up taking a special ed certification and became one of J's top resources. She was the single person who turned around a big problem that had caused us to keep him in HS for two extra years. Her efforts to teach him how to write essays were instrumental in him completing college just shy of having a minor in English and being a very good writer.

The previous principal, unlike the middle school sack of pus, had spent ten years getting every teacher special ed certified and eliminating self contained special ed classrooms. Every kid was in a normal classroom with teachers who had a clue. Yet, across the road was the festering boil of a middle school that didn't permit students like that to remain in their school.

All-in-all everything worked out but not without a lot of work and a metric shit ton of money. The special needs kids J had gone to school with who didn't have a family with resources and weren't their kid's fierce advocate fell by the wayside. Well, except one who grew as big as he was challenged and could play the line really well on another HS football team. There's so much so wrong with the US.

J is with us in Cuenca. He was the one who suggested looking at Ecuador to his mom. He had a college degree but couldn't get a job good enough to allow him to not have several roommates and still needed our support. $13/hr and no benefits working tech support for an Apple vendor doesn't go far. I really didn't want him to move with us because I knew it would mean the end of his working life. It did. I've come to accept that this was the best choice for all of us. He was doing volunteer work when the restrictions came and he will return to it when possible. If something else interests him then everything may change again. That's up to him. Until then, if there is a then, we're just happy to have turned our backs on the insanity up north. There were worse outcomes that could have happened.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

travelerxxx's picture

@vtcc73

Thanks for opening up like this, vtcc73. I imagine it's not so easy relating all this. We're lucky to have you here writing.

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wendy davis's picture

@vtcc73

'mutually beneficial solutions'. hard hearing more of the underlying and ensuing ugliness, but again, what fierce warriors and advocates for J you both were.

so great about the help he received from the teacher who went back and got her special ed certification, as well, as well as the key mental health professional.

i'm glad to her that J is with you, if for no other reason than your constant love and support.

rampant insanity in the north is the New Normal, i hear. #InEveryRespect

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vtcc73's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis there had to be several people who cared enough to do their jobs professionally. They often faced resistance from above and had to work through a bureaucracy whose only mission, in reality, is to serve itself. It never matters that federal law said they had to do what was required. Resources and the people who provided the services were no always available and those who were available often weren't very good at their profession.

The summer we fought the battle to avoid placing J in the school he was districted to attend the principal who built the staff at the school we wanted him in left. One of her last acts was providing us with the help we needed to convince the principal of the other school it was in his best interests. A year later J would be districted for the school we wanted but by then more damage would have been done. Her replacement was a PhD from Chicago doing a touch and go for a big job elsewhere. He was an empty suit who wouldn't risk rocking the boat. Happily we only had to deal with him one year. Then a new young first time principal took over. She was able to learn and knew what she didn't know but was willing to work with us.

The hero was the new chair of the special ed department. Joanne had been the assistant the year before J began HS. The previous had left to join the departing principal at another school. Joanne had learned well from both mentors and was on J's side from the beginning despite how difficult J could be. Still, she had to sometimes be nudged to do the right thing usually due to bureaucratic politics and resource limitations. Being a close friend of J's psychologist with lots of experience working together was essential. The two of them could gang up on Tim (my wife and me too), the vice principal, and help him overcome what every vice principal is taught at the Attila the Hun School for Vice Principals. The only thing they know is discipline for any behavior. They're a lot like cops. They seek to control every situation using blunt force instead of using their head for something other than growing hair and a hat rack. Together we learned some really creative ways to modify J's behavior for things he did that needed to be nipped early.

The two ladies at the district office who came up to me after that IEP meeting at the middle school to quietly offer assistance were invaluable. They didn't get involved day-to-day but were great resources for fixing the big and/or thorny problems and providing just the right connection. I think they ran an insurgent operation at the district office. They definitely knew who would do what was right for a student regardless of the difficulty.

I have to credit my wife. We make a good team because we're so different. I look for the solution that comes closest to satisfying everyone's needs. I'll take less than total victory to bring an opponent on board with a good, workable solution. She takes no prisoners and is as likely to eat an opponent's face off as play nice. The difference between her and a terrorist is that terrorists are generally considered reasonable people. That's a tool we needed too.

This was a loosely affiliated team with J's interests being the glue that held us together. We all made mistakes, especially me. Getting past the mistakes was key. We had to analyze what happened, admit our parts in the error, find a consensus solution, and get everyone on board implementing it. There's not a single step in that sentence that is easy. There is no room for blame at any time. Only honesty and willingness to work together got us through problems. It's like herding cats, feral cats.

I made lots of mistakes. The mistakes are all I'll claim credit for. Every one was when I couldn't get myself out of the way. I've learned a lot since then. We all did.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

wendy davis's picture

@vtcc73

plus the credit you give your wife and her style...are a great credit to you, amigo.

thank you for sharing it all. me, i'm feeling lower than a snake's belly about our 13-yr-old relative's prospects. wish i could say more on the boards, but...there it is; it wouldn't be right, and i may have already shared far too much about it...and my personal limitations involved.

and who can say? maybe writing savant J will write his (and your) story up one day? or tutor anatomy while he waits...

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Deja's picture

@vtcc73
The part about integrating special needs children into "regular" classrooms, struck a chord, as did the teachers who helped and the B word who sent him away and had him arrested.

In the 80s, when I was in high school, I did a two-page feature story on the "deaf" kids in our school. (No PC in the 80s.). For content, I passed out questionnaires to the students and their teachers. I learned something that, as a non special needs person, I'd never even considered, and I felt guilt about it. Those kids were physically challenged, not mentally. And they were sequestered down a hall where all students not considered "normal" were hidden away. The only reason I even knew where they were all tucked away was because I spent a study hall class as an attendance assistant, and physically collected the attendance folders from every classroom in the building.

The responses to my questionnaire revealed that they were no different than my friends or me, that they resented being treated differently and not being allowed to attend "normal" classes. It made me wonder about all the others, down the hiding hall. They couldn't be the only ones who felt that way.

One teacher really blew my mind, and lost my respect with her questionnaire answers. When asked: What made you decide to be a teacher for the deaf? She replied, "Silly me, I wanted a challenge." Her answer did not make it into my story, but I did quote as many of the students as I could cram into those two pages.

You and J's story reminded me of that hallway, those kids, that teacher way back when. I wonder how many Js were there. I wonder what it's like now. I'm so glad you are all well south and past all that crap. Take care, and thank you so much for sharing his and your story. We really should do better. We really, really should!

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wendy davis's picture

@Deja

is 'mainstreaming' special needs students, at least around here.

yes, 'we' really should do better, but don't. from gates' private charters and online schooling, to Obomba's snooze-worthy Basketball Crony arne duncan SecEd, to now erik prince's sister calvinist betsy devos...impossible.

shucks, reminds me of george carlin's old bit 'they want you stupid! (or close): (well this isn't the one i'd been thinking of, but it's close enough)

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OzoneTom's picture

@aliasalias

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OzoneTom's picture

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TheOtherMaven's picture

It needs to be a completely separate department with completely separate training and NO GUNS. It should probably be run out of, and BY, the local (or nearest) hospital - or at worst the local Fire and Rescue department.

NO COPS. NO GUNS.

Any municipality that squalls about the cost should be told bluntly that it costs less than lawsuits and court cases for (attempted) murder.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

usefewersyllables's picture

@TheOtherMaven

to an extent in Denver as we speak- the Crisis Co-Responder effort. As I understand it, it has been working pretty well thus far in dealing with some of the smaller scale mental health and homeless interactions with the authorities.

I hope that it can continue. It would also be nice if they'd roll these guys to some of the protests instead of just suiting up in their best SWAT drag and firing tear gas at anything that moves, but I guess that incrementalism is all we're gonna get right now...

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@usefewersyllables

'officer' doesn't carry a gun, and really wants to be of good service to the client. thanks for bringing it.

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wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

ksl.com link had loads of new (to me) info, including:

Friday was the first day Barton had been able to go back to work in a long time. Linden became very upset that day and had been throwing fits, which included curling up in a ball and crying, Barton said. To make matters worse, she said she missed several of her son’s calls while she was at work because her cellphone was charging.

When Linden becomes upset, he screams and sometimes bangs his head on a wall, Barton said. In previous situations, she said her family would call the county’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team. However, she said after spending thousands of dollars the month before, they couldn’t afford to this time.

After talking to Linden’s psychiatrist, Barton said she decided to call police and ask for a member of the Crisis Intervention Team to respond.

“And I was just like, ‘You know what? We need treatment, we need help, so let’s call these people, they said they would help us.’ So we got this specialized officer, they said they would come help us. I said, ‘Can you please just get my son to Primary’s?’”

Barton said when she drove home, she parked down the street from her house because she didn't want to further agitate her son with her presence. She said she explained in detail to dispatchers that her son was upset and was having a mental episode and that she just needed him to be taken to the hospital.

now that didn't track for me, parking down the street, nor would i have stayed in the car and waited to hear from the kops, but:

But Barton said Linden is also afraid of police officers in uniform because his grandfather was shot and killed by police in January. In that incident, three Lyon County, Nevada, sheriff’s deputies shot Owen Barton after he allegedly threatened a neighbor with a gun, according to news reports out of Reno.

When officers arrived and confronted Linden, he ran.

“They scared him, he ran, he jumped the fence,” Barton said.

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QMS's picture

@TheOtherMaven

decided to hire 2 social workers instead of cops
unarmed, trained in crisis management
violent crime went down 30% with in 1 year

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

You think having different skin causes you problems? Try being a different brain.

"The individual doesn't exist, and all must belong to a group", say the critical theory cultists? Individual identity is all we've ever been.

Black people (and Jews, regardless of color) may have gone through a period of having to prove they were human...but try actually not being human.

At the very least in a Ship-of-Theseus sense, I really am not, never was, and certainly never wanted to be - a sentiment that has only grown truer with age. My parents have actually admitted to me that, resistant as they were to do so at first, learning to think of me as not human has helped them understand me (and if operating on a new hypothesis leads to better results in subsequent experiments, what does that tell you?).

And yet, at least for a while back there, the SJW set had declared us the enemy. After acceptance in the '80s, '90s, and early '000s, I've been seeing anti-autistic backlash off and on at least as far back as 2005. I guess we can't have our sacrosanct ideology threatened by any inconvenient truths now, can we?

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

to respond, of course, as in w/ mental health crises, the suffferers are 16 times more often killed by cops. ID politics show that per capita, unarmed blacks and reds are far more likely to be killed by police...for nothing. or 'just because'. and wsws is adamant that it's not about color, but class, but yes, both can be true at the same time.

and yet on snoopy's daniel prude thread you'd said that you'd been treated very well by police during a recent metal health crisis in CO/NM, yes? but this? WTF?

My parents have actually admitted to me that, resistant as they were to do so at first, learning to think of me as not human has helped them understand me (and if operating on a new hypothesis leads to better results in subsequent experiments, what does that tell you?).

that may be one of the worst examples of Toxic Parenting i've ever heard. sorry to hear you've bought into it, as: Of Course You Are Human! just have a brain and nervous system that operate identifiably differently than most.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@wendy davis I don't WANT to be human.
I have NEVER wanted to be human.
I have never FELT human.
Why SHOULD I want to be human?
My thesis since 4th grade has been that Humanity is dying of obsolescence, that the Anthropocene Era is to humans what modern Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere ultimately was to the cyanobacteria that created it, and the future belongs to those who can evolve into something MORE.

My parents have made some pretty damaging mistakes to date, I'm sorry to say, but what I'm talking about here is how they've started learning to remedy and overcome those mistakes.

"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand."
- Leonardo da Vinci

As for this:

and yet on snoopy's daniel prude thread you'd said that you'd been treated very well by police during a recent metal health crisis in CO/NM, yes? but this? WTF?

It was a couple years ago, but "recent" is a relative term; anyway, what's your point? How is it bad that I didn't get treated worse (and at the very end of the incident, I DID)? Where even is the contradiction?

...and wsws is adamant that it's not about color, but class...

"wsws"? Do you mean World Socialist Web Site (what I got when I looked that up)?

I think this argument (not between us, but the broader argument that's been shredding the left since circa 2015) is rooted in some particular failure of language and logic somewhere along the way, like an industrial machine that's mostly still functional but is threatening to explode because of a single slipped gear or shoddy part in its bowels, or a cellular mutation that ravages the whole organism just because of a single DNA transcription error. A good place to start fixing it would be to judge people exclusively on their own two feet, without smearing them together with others who merely look/sound similar. The human predilection for pattern recognition is a seductive trap. Group identity, both personally held and projected secondhand, is the cause of all bigotry and an illusion besides; doing away with it ought to be the true frontier of 21st-Century progressivism.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

when you can manage it.

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wendy davis's picture

is by the late, great, talking poet American Indian Movement (AIM) john trudell, who turned poison into medicine like no other i've ever known. from his bio page:

On February 11, 1979 Trudell had burned an American flag during a demonstration in front of the J.Edgar Hoover building, the headquarters of the F.B.I. In Washington, DC, Trudell explained his motives for the flag-burning. “In the military, they said if the flag has been desecrated, the only way to properly dispose of it is to burn it. But they defined desecration of the flag as if it drops on the earth. I say injustice and racism and classism and your whole way of life desecrates whatever you say this thing’s supposed to mean.”

About 12 hours after the flag incident, in the early morning of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, a fire “of suspicious origin” burned down Trudell’s home on the Shoshone Palute reservation in Nevada, killing Trudell’s wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother. Not surprisingly, the F.B.I. declined to investigate, and the blaze was officially ruled an “accident.” But Trudell flatly stated “It was murder; they were murdered as an act of war.”

from his Rich Man's Wars:

Some ones are crazy or
Maybe we take turns
Dreaming about some kind of life
We say it could have been different
But it wasn't because we weren't

Some things start good and go bad
Some things get bad and stay bad
Are we caught in between
Living a lie or not living at all...

Eliminated choices
Lost in dreams we let go
Memories we never got to have
Something else to think about

What goes on in hell, anyway?

hope you're still kickin' ass on the other side, my friend.

good night, all. sleep well if can.

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wendy davis's picture

(and this might be filed under: Stupid Question):

if linden received injuries to all these parts during the shooting:

Cameron’s mother, in interviews with KSL TV and KUTV, says her son has injuries to his shoulder, both ankles, intestines {alternately Colon.lg.intestine] and bladder.

Linden’s older brother Wesley Cameron spoke to local media regarding Linden’s injuries: “He said he can’t feel any feeling in his left hand.”

an yes, his numb hand could be related to his shoulder injury.

but my Q is that golda barton said Officer Friendly X had emptied ['his' or 'a'] clip into ...i began to wonder about police issue weapons: are they most likely 38s or 45s?

srsly, i just Bingled for 'how many shots?', most coverage says 'multiple times', but given what a wee bairn linden is (under 100 lbs.) why didn't the hail of bullets kill him?

anyhoo, coverage from heavy.com includes this photo of linden:

and this bullshit quote i'd seen elsewhere:

“While the full details of this incident are yet to be released as an investigation takes place, I will say that I am thankful this young boy is alive and no one else was injured,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement to the Salt Lake Tribune. “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.”

but linden's go fund me is up to $89,225. i'd imagine that golda barton won't be going back to work, but staying home to care for linden (w/ wesley's help, i suspect) she/they can sure use it. i hope one day golda will file a major civil suit against the SLC PD.

but the investigation, such as it will be, will be considering that eventuality as they proceed. will we hear that the body cams failed? dang, i forgot to charge mine; #MeToo!

or a neighbor saying: 'oh yes, linden brandished a weapon toward me! i was terrified he'd kill me!'

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@wendy davis I haven't looked into it lately, but that's what I read a year or so ago. Both are powerful calibers which can quickly "take down" (kill) a "bad guy". With as many hits as that child suffered, I think he could still die. I hope not, but he is still majorly messed up.

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travelerxxx's picture

@tle

It might be well to point out to those not versed in firearms that the ammunition used by police is usually frangible. That it, it expands upon impact. Such ammunition is banned in war by the Hague convention (from around the turn of the 20th century ...late 1890's, I think). American cops, not so much. So, this poor kid was almost certainly hit with expanding bullets.

I know the police claim the use of frangible ammunition cuts down on ricochets, and I know that's probably true, but why do we need such an overriding concern about ricochets to begin with?

Also, for those wishing for a "green" future, some police departments have started using lead-free ammunition so as not to pollute the environment. So nice of them...

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I'd use that on a bumper sticker, but I'm still cursed with a will to live. Not that it would have helped Garner or Floyd - but it might have. People could be more willing to intervene if they weren't going to be shot dead for it.

(I'd like a bumper sticker without the hyphen. DEGUN is close enough to DEFUND that it might result in some double-takes).

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