$19 Million Settlement Is Reached in Fatal Police Shooting of Colorado Man
The parents of a Colorado man who was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy last June during a mental health crisis will receive $19 million as part of a settlement announced Tuesday.
The man, Christian Glass, 22, was killed after he called 911 when the vehicle he was driving became stuck on an embankment on a mountain road near Silver Plume, about 45 miles west of Denver.
About a half-dozen officers, from multiple agencies including Colorado State Patrol, responded after Mr. Glass told a 911 dispatcher that he was coming out of a depression and that he needed help.
They negotiated with Mr. Glass for more than an hour before the situation escalated, and one officer broke the window on the driver’s side, ordering him to drop a knife.
Officers fired beanbag rounds at Mr. Glass and used a stun gun on him. He then swung an arm at the broken window, toward an approaching officer, and gunshots were fired, body camera footage showed.
Two Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputies, Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould, were indicted in November in connection to the fatal shooting. Mr. Buen was charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment. Mr. Gould was charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. The deputies were fired.
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Under the terms of the settlement announced Tuesday, Mr. Glass’s parents will receive $19 million from state and local agencies, and changes will be implemented to how police officers are trained for similar situations, according to documents provided by the family’s lawyers.
“It’s the largest civil rights settlement in Colorado and one of the largest in the nation,” Siddhartha Rathod, one of the lawyers for the family, said on Tuesday. The settlement is $4 million more than Elijah McClain’s family received in 2021. Mr. McClain, a young Black man, died in 2019 after being restrained by the police in Aurora, Colo.
As part of the settlement, Clear Creek County has agreed to dedicate a park to Mr. Glass and to create a dedicated crisis response team by January 2025. The county’s sheriff’s office will train and certify all of its patrol officers in crisis intervention.
The Colorado State Patrol will also establish a virtual-reality training scenario reflecting the shooting, and the State Patrol and Division of Gaming will begin its statewide bystander training with a presentation from Mr. Glass’s parents, Simon and Sally Glass.
In a letter, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office apologized to Mr. Glass’s family and acknowledged that its officers “failed to meet expectations.”
An autopsy report said Mr. Glass had six gunshot wounds. The report also noted that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was in Mr. Glass’s system, along with amphetamine that, according to a doctor who spoke to The Denver Post, was commensurate with medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Last month, after a hearing for the former officers, Mr. Glass’s parents said the men should be tried together. “They murdered him together, they get tried together,” Ms. Glass told Fox 31, a local news station. “It’s just so sad. Our son was so unlucky, so unlucky that night.”
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