Family of 22-year-old man fatally shot by law enforcement in Clear Creek County wants accountability
Police who shot a 22-year-old man after he called 911 for roadside assistance escalated the situation, leading to his death, his relatives said as they push for accountability.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation handles police shootings, including the Glass case, but the family wants prosecutors to file criminal charges, said Siddhartha Rathod, the attorney for the parents.
After the June 10 death in the small mountain town of Silver Plume west of Denver, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release saying that Glass was shot after he became “argumentative and uncooperative” and tried to stab an officer when police broke a car window to grab him.
“Christian was experiencing a crisis and he called 911 for help,” said Rathod, “and yet these officers busted out Christian’s window, shot him six times with bean bag rounds, Tased him multiple times from two Tasers, and then shot him five times.”
The videos shared with The Associated Press show Glass refusing to come out of his car while also telling police he’s “terrified” and making heart shapes with his hands to officers. At one point, he also can be seen praying with folded hands and saying, “Dear Lord, please, don’t let them break the window.”
When the officers did break the window, Glass seemed to panic and grabbed a knife.
Police then shot Glass with bean bag rounds and shocked him with a stun gun before the young man twisted in his seat and thrust a knife toward an officer, the footage showed. Then one officer fired his gun, hitting Glass. The recordings then show Glass stabbing himself before he died.
The family said the videos were only edited to blur the body. The AP has requested that police provide any videos related to the case.
Rathod said Glass had no history of mental illness, and when asked about Glass’s abnormal behavior, he said “unfortunately we are not ever going to know.”
Nichole Lentz, public records officer for Clear Creek County, declined a request to comment and referred the AP to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Bureau spokesperson Susan Medina declined to comment about the investigation other than to say it is ongoing.
Sally Glass, Christian’s mother, on Tuesday remembered her son’s “huge, enveloping hugs,” his polite and gentle nature, and how he loved taking long drives into the mountains to draw and paint.
Christian had recently spent time in Moab, where he created more than 20 pastel paintings, and had just bought stones and rock tools, she said during a news conference Tuesday at her lawyer’s Denver office.
“Christian didn’t have an aggressive bone in his body. He was sensitive and he saw beauty in nature,” Sally Glass said.
She called for police accountability and improved recruitment practices across police forces to “hire people with kind hearts and a moral compass.”
“We have to pray for us in America to make this a less violent country,” she said. “I think a lot of people now would agree that there’s a systemic problem with policing. It’s too aggressive; they escalate at every opportunity.”
Simon Glass, Christian’s father, called his son’s killing “a stain” on Clear Creek County and Colorado.
“Our son’s life is extinguished and no one is accountable,” Simon Glass said. “What are other Colorado parents supposed to think? Might your son or daughter be next?”