SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The family of Lindon Cameron, the then 13-year-old autistic boy shot by police in 2020, is “incredibly disappointed,” in the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s decision to not prosecute the officer in question, according to civil suit attorney Nathan Morris.

Sim Gill announced during a media conference today that his office deemed the shooting unjustified, but would not be seeking charges against accused Officer Matthew Farillas.

Citing opposing reports from expert investigators, Gill said his office did not feel they had enough burden of proof to follow through with charges. One expert reported Officer Farillas actions as “inappropriate” and stated he “did not use good judgement.” The other expert said “Officer Farillas’ use of deadly force was within Salt Lake City PD’s use of force policy.”

“Linden Cameron and his family grieve Sim Gill’s decision today not to prosecute the clearly unjustified shooting by Officer Matthew Farillas,” said Morris. “The family of Linden Cameron has joined many other individuals and families to ask for greater transparency, more focused training, and prompt accountability by the Salt Lake City Police Department.”

Morris related the family’s journey through their civil lawsuit and ultimate settlement with the SLCPD. Pointing out it was the largest settlement on record for the department and demonstrated SLCPD’s desire to acknowledge the wrongs committed and to take additional steps to improve training and communication with the public.

“Linden and his family are grateful that the tragic shooting that occurred on September 4, 2020, has helped to shine a light on abuses and lack of training with respect to those with invisible disabilities like Autism. Linden and his family are grateful for the thoughts and prayers of family and friends and others who have each contributed to the continual process of reforming our police departments and making our streets safer.”

Morris did say the announcement by Gill felt like a step backward in the family’s ongoing healing process and he and the family were concerned the DA’s decision will “merely galvanize an already ingrained belief that certain citizens are not deserving of due process, fairness, and common decency.”

“Mr. Gill’s decision represents a miscarriage of justice and contributes to the steady erosion of trust by the public due to many documented instances of police violence and brutality (both in Utah and throughout the Nation),” Morris said.

Morris expressed further concern over the confusion the decision will have over the way SLCPD handles future allegations involving alleged wrongdoing by officers because of Mr. Gill’s unwillingness to prosecute.

Mr. Morris concluded with a call to action for the general public.

“The family calls on the media and other interested individuals and entities to investigate and report on the District Attorney’s lack of prosecutions and to hold him accountable. The family also laments that it has taken nearly 3 years to reach a decision. It appears that the timing of this decision, and the extensive delay, was intended to reduce the visibility and to distance Mr. Gill’s pre-determined decision from immediate public scrutiny during a time (in 2020) when emotions about public shootings were at their highest. These decisions should be made much sooner to help bring closure to the victims of police violence. We grieve Mr. Gill’s lack of courage to hold Officer Farillas accountable.”

Nathan Morris, Family Civil Attorney

The SLCPD also released a statement following today’s announcement.

“We are reviewing the district attorney’s findings. While the civil and criminal cases associated to this investigation have resolved, the department’s internal review remains ongoing. Since this tragic incident, the Salt Lake City Police Department has invested in and has provided more resources for officers when they respond to people who are living with a mental health illness or are in crisis. Additionally, the Salt Lake City Police Department continues to diversify its public safety response to include partnering with nationwide organizations that train officers on engaging with people living with sensory needs, mobile crisis outreach teams, utilizing the Salt Lake City Fire Department’s Community Health Access Team (CHAT), and the Salt Lake City Police Department’s social workers and the department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).”

Brent Weisberg, Communications director for the SLCPD