Parents of Christian Glass talk about $19 million settlement for their son’s death

Parents of Christian Glass, 22, want the record $19 million settlement for the shooting death of their son by a Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy to send a strong message to law enforcement across the country.

Officers can’t shoot someone just because they’re frustrated, angry or impatient, Simon and Sally Glass told the Denver Post on Tuesday afternoon in an interview. But that’s what happened on June 11, 2022, when their son was shot and killed in a “malicious” attack by police, the couple said.

“We want other police forces to see this and make sure they don’t have issues like this,” Simon Glass said. “We don’t want this to happen to another family.”

The family will receive a $19 million settlement from the state and three law enforcement agencies, including the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, for the death of their son. It is the largest settlement involving police misconduct in Colorado history, surpassing the $15 million paid in 2021 by Aurora to settle a civil rights lawsuit over the death of Elijah McClain.

The settlement also includes non-monetary concessions, including a requirement that the Clear Creek County Sheriff and Colorado State Patrol incorporate lessons from Christian Glass’s death into their training. This training will include video interviews and personal interviews with the glasses. The agreement also required Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers to apologize for the murder.

“Christian had such a strong sense of justice,” Simon Glass said. “He would have been horrified by what happened to him.”

On June 10, Glass hit his car on an embankment as he turned around in Silver Plume, and he called 911 for help. He told the 911 operator he had weapons – two knives, a hammer and a mallet – from a rock hunting trip in his car. He offered to throw them out the window to make officers feel safe.

When officers arrived, Glass told them he was scared and refused to get out of his SUV. Officers from the Sheriff’s Office, Georgetown Police Department, Idaho Springs Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Gaming Division arrived as Glass repeatedly told them that he was too scared to come out but he didn’t want to hurt them.

Several times, according to video footage, he raised his hands with his fingers in the shape of a heart. He did not leave the driver’s seat during the 70-minute standoff.

The situation quickly escalated, with officers asking him to get out of the car and pull out their guns. An officer stood on the hood of the SUV with his gun pointed at Glass.

Officers shot Glass with a Taser and a pellet gun before a deputy – Andrew Buen – fired multiple times, killing Glass in the driver’s seat.

Police experts said officers failed to defuse before deciding to use force against Glass, who posed no threat to them.

Buen was indicted by a Clear Creek County grand jury for second degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment. He was fired after the indictment.

Former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kyle Gould, who was also fired after the grand jury indictment, faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment because he gave officers the green light to break up the Glass’ car windows and get him out of the car.

After the shooting, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release stating that Glass was killed after attacking the deputies.

This, however, was not true.

But Glass’ parents didn’t find out until months after the shooting, when their attorneys reviewed body camera footage with the Clear Creek County prosecutor.

“He never hurt anyone, so why would Christian suddenly go and try to attack a policeman?” Sally Glass said. “We come from a really quiet world. It made absolutely no sense to us.

“We lived with these lies for a long time.”


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