In Salt Lake City, a 13-year-old autistic boy had a mental breakdown. The mom called 911 to help, but when police showed up they shot him. This emphasizes a problem with how police are trained to deal with autistics and others with disabilities. I will cover the incident, note the training issues that are known then provide a short moral analysis.
Fr Matthew P Schneider LC

An Autistic Mental Breakdown Doesn't Excuse Shooting a 13-Year-Old

An Autistic Mental Breakdown Doesn’t Excuse Shooting a 13-Year-Old September 18, 2020 Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC An Autistic Mental Breakdown Does…
The New Knights Templar
We need to consider the source when we look at these articles. It appears Father gets his news from CNN, because he has referred or quoted them several times in his postings. That's actually quite frightening considering CNN is pro-Marxism, pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-Black Lives Matter, pro-death-vax, anti-gun, pro-defund the police, etc, and has consistently spoken out against the Catholic …More
We need to consider the source when we look at these articles. It appears Father gets his news from CNN, because he has referred or quoted them several times in his postings. That's actually quite frightening considering CNN is pro-Marxism, pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-Black Lives Matter, pro-death-vax, anti-gun, pro-defund the police, etc, and has consistently spoken out against the Catholic Church. Watching CNN and believing what they say is like watching soap operas and believing the are a true cross-section of life. I truly believe Father supports Liberation Theology like the Great White Set of Ears in Rome. Pray for Father and do penance so he might see both reality and Truth. God Bless you Father, you need His grace so much.

catholicleague.org/why-does-cnn-hate-the-catholic-church/

christiannewswire.com/news/690983283.html
Ultraviolet
Ironically enough, even CNN contradicts Father's position on the issue.

"Officers respond that they have to treat the situation as if he does possibly have a gun."

"The videos show officers approach the house and then begin chasing the boy, at one point breaking through a wooden fence. Cameron is seen walking slowly while ignoring demands to get on the ground."


So the real cause of this …More
Ironically enough, even CNN contradicts Father's position on the issue.

"Officers respond that they have to treat the situation as if he does possibly have a gun."

"The videos show officers approach the house and then begin chasing the boy, at one point breaking through a wooden fence. Cameron is seen walking slowly while ignoring demands to get on the ground."


So the real cause of this tragic shooting is this young man's mother.

She called the police demanding an "intervention".
She told the police that her son was violent.
She told the police her son might be armed.

The police had proceed from her claims. Then her son ignores repeated demands to get on the ground. Law enforcement's response to a suspect who is potentially armed and who is disobeying them is fairly standard. Officer safety (and the safety of the public in general) takes priority over that of a violent suspect or emotionally disturbed person.
Ave Crux
Yes, after hearing what sounds like such an inexplicable act of violence against a supposedly unarmed child, more research would have been prudent...it just didn't add up.
Ave Crux
Father, unfortunately you don't have the whole story. The mother completely misrepresented the facts to the press. She told the police when they arrived that the boy had a gun of some kind, and after the police found him, the boy began shouting that he was going to kill them.

My comment below shows the bodycam footage. It's tragic, but my earlier comment explains that this misrepresented the …More
Father, unfortunately you don't have the whole story. The mother completely misrepresented the facts to the press. She told the police when they arrived that the boy had a gun of some kind, and after the police found him, the boy began shouting that he was going to kill them.

My comment below shows the bodycam footage. It's tragic, but my earlier comment explains that this misrepresented the police in a very bad way.

As a priest, I am sure you don't want to be unjustly accused of criminal behavior by someone in the public either. Stories like this which fail to present all the facts just breed hatred for the police to whom we owe so much.
The New Knights Templar
@Ave Crux Thanks for taking the time to get the truth out.
Ave Crux
This linked article explains the facts: In the bodycam footage embedded in this article, the mother is seen explaining to the Police that her son is in the possession of some kind of gun. She's not sure what KIND of gun, because apparently her other son does own a gun.

The officer calmly explains to her "So unfortunately we have to treat them all as if they are." And the mother responds "Righ…More
This linked article explains the facts: In the bodycam footage embedded in this article, the mother is seen explaining to the Police that her son is in the possession of some kind of gun. She's not sure what KIND of gun, because apparently her other son does own a gun.

The officer calmly explains to her "So unfortunately we have to treat them all as if they are." And the mother responds "Right, I know."

Then the policeman calmly asks the mother what she would like them to do. She said she wants them to find him -- he had taken off -- and bring him to the hospital.

Once the officers catch up with the boy, the boy can be heard shouting: "I'll kill you! I'll kill you!"

And once the officers were in his line of sight, they could not be sure what he might do next if he had a real gun, even if they had tried to talk him down. He had just screamed he was going to kill them and was obviously out of control.

This is surely a tragedy and fortunately the young boy survived. But don't expect to call the police and tell them your son -- who is now incoherent and out of control -- is carrying a gun of "some kind" and you want them to catch him and bring him to the hospital, and not think there could be a problem in pursuit of him.

Furthermore, the mother should never have permitted a gun in their household if there is one child with potentially violent behavioral problems. She also tells the police she can't keep doing this day after day -- so it's a longterm problem and there shouldn't have been a gun in the house to begin with.

Police are not supposed to be defenseless shooting targets that are disposable in doing our bidding.

They have a right to act in self defense if circumstances are out of control and they have been told by the mother the out-of-control child has some kind of gun.

These men have families, too. They have children who need them to stay alive. We don't have robots for policemen.

OUR responsibility is to get all the facts before assigning blame. My initial reaction was to be upset with the police. But it didn't add up, so I researched and looked for the bodycam footage and the whole real story came out.
Ultraviolet
Superb rebuttal @Ave Crux When you're right, you're right. My initial reaction was to be grateful the police did the shooting rather than Joe Home-Owner.

They wear body-cams and those, as in this instance, are saving people's careers. Joe Home-Owner who finds a violent nut-case in his back yard at night waving something that looks like a gun, doesn't have that protection. Joe would get …More
Superb rebuttal @Ave Crux When you're right, you're right. My initial reaction was to be grateful the police did the shooting rather than Joe Home-Owner.

They wear body-cams and those, as in this instance, are saving people's careers. Joe Home-Owner who finds a violent nut-case in his back yard at night waving something that looks like a gun, doesn't have that protection. Joe would get crucified for "shooting an unarmed boy" -shades of Trayvon Martin.
chris griffin
Wrong. The police may have been legally justified but not morally justified. Who shoots a 13 year old mentally ill boy? Only those who are cowards.
Ave Crux
@chris griffin Think it through... It was nighttime and impossible to see clearly, the police knew he had a gun of some kind and he was out of control.

WHAT would you have done after hearing the boy scream I'll kill you! I'll kill you! and also wondering who else in the neighborhood might be next to get shot if he actually has a real gun and they don't stop him?

It wasn't even about protecti…More
@chris griffin Think it through... It was nighttime and impossible to see clearly, the police knew he had a gun of some kind and he was out of control.

WHAT would you have done after hearing the boy scream I'll kill you! I'll kill you! and also wondering who else in the neighborhood might be next to get shot if he actually has a real gun and they don't stop him?

It wasn't even about protecting themselves....it was about protecting the common good of all the people living in the area if he is on the loose with a loaded gun threatening to kill someone.

A young boy out of his mind running through the neighborhood with what could have been a loaded gun is a danger to everyone.

The police did what the mother asked them to do: catch her son, who's had a mental breakdown and has a gun of some kind.

She is the cause of the problem. There should never have been a gun in the household to begin with when there is an unbalanced child living there.
The New Knights Templar
@chris griffin You're wrong. These police have a protocol to follow. You wouldn't be saying this if the cops tried to sweet talk him and the kid took off and shot someone you loved or killed one of his friends. The cops also have a family to go home to. Did you even watch the video which tells the whole truth, I'm betting you didn't?? A 13 year old kid screaming I'll kill you and fleeing from …More
@chris griffin You're wrong. These police have a protocol to follow. You wouldn't be saying this if the cops tried to sweet talk him and the kid took off and shot someone you loved or killed one of his friends. The cops also have a family to go home to. Did you even watch the video which tells the whole truth, I'm betting you didn't?? A 13 year old kid screaming I'll kill you and fleeing from the cops; and brandishing what might be a real firearm can kill you just as easily and a 30 year old with a felony. It would be different if they KNEW it was a fake gun, but the cop told the mother who claimed it might be a fake gun, but she didn't know for sure, "we have to assume it is a real gun." A coward is someone who lacks courage. It takes a lot of courage to chase a mentally ill person who might have a gun, screaming "I'll kill you" down a dark alley. His age is irrelevant. What would you suggest, throw teddy bears at him??
Fr Matthew P Schneider LC
Look at the dates. That article is after the linked article. Anyone writing on the date of the linked article needs to go on the information available then.
Ave Crux
@Fr Matthew P Schneider LC Father, you don't seem to understand. News articles are absolutely irrelevant when we have bodycam footage. That tells the entire story.

The mother withheld vitally relevant and decisive information from the press about the fact she told the police he had a gun of some kind when she asked them to pursue her son who was having a mental breakdown while running through …More
@Fr Matthew P Schneider LC Father, you don't seem to understand. News articles are absolutely irrelevant when we have bodycam footage. That tells the entire story.

The mother withheld vitally relevant and decisive information from the press about the fact she told the police he had a gun of some kind when she asked them to pursue her son who was having a mental breakdown while running through the neighborhood with what could have easily been a loaded weapon. They had one in the house.

She is seen in that footage agreeing with the officer that they had to proceed as though the boy had a real gun.

My concern about your article is that it makes the officers look like monsters. They not only had to protect themselves but the entire neighborhood from an out of control child who could be carrying a gun, while screaming "I'll kill you! I'll kill you!"

You're being unjust in your representations.

Your article actually made me angry with the police, until I saw the bodycam footage.

Was that just? Is that ethical? You are spreading falsehood and ill-will toward our police. We owe them a great deal.

Is it necessary for police to use proper de-escalation techniques with mental health victims when they are not running through a neighborhood at night with a gun? Absolutely. We agree there.

But that's not what the circumstances were here. They were told the boy had a gun of some kind -- a danger to themselves and to others.

Do you put your life on the line everyday to protect citizens? Their wives don't even know if they will come home at the end of their shift each day.

Police have one of the hardest, most dangerous and exhausting jobs in the world when they have to handle such situations. They are not made of stone. They are made of flesh and bone and nervous systems just like we are. That's heroism.
123jussi
Why did they shoot him? You don't mention the circumstances a thirteen year old autistic can be very dangerous are you saying he was no threat?
Ave Crux
@123jussi See my comment above. It explains everything.