The family of a 22-year-old Colorado man is seeking charges against the officers who shot and killed him on June 11 after he called 911 asking for help because his car was stuck.
Bodycam footage recently released by the family’s lawyer revealed seven officers responded when Christian Glass called first responders after he’d had a minor car crash in Clear Creek County, Colorado.
“I’m stuck in a dangerous place and I will be killed,” Glass can be heard saying in a rambling phone call to emergency services that was released by his family’s lawyers, where he repeatedly tells the operator he loves her, discusses draining the negativity out of people with crystals, and fixates on “skinwalkers” watching him from outside his vehicle.
“I need immediate assistance, please,” he begged. “I’m going through a lot right now.”
The amateur geologist had two small knives and a hammer in his vehicle, which he disclosed to both the 911 operator and officers as they arrived at the scene, offering repeatedly to throw them outside the vehicle to make officers feel safe.
“I’m not dangerous, I will keep my hands completely visible,” he told the 911 operator. “I understand this is a dodgy situation for you guys as well.”
When law enforcement arrived, body camera footage revealed Glass did keep his hands visible for almost the entirety of his interactions with Clear Creek County Sheriff deputies and Colorado State Patrol officers. He even made heart signs with his hands in gestures of peace toward the officers but refused to exit his car, saying he was “terrified,” for nearly 70 minutes.
Officers in the video are seen joking at each other and talking peacefully with the 22-year-old, with an officer at one time approaching the vehicle and saying he isn’t scared of Glass’ behavior.
“We’re not going to shoot you,” an officer can be heard saying.
Despite this, and the fact that a Colorado State Patrol officer can be heard on the radio saying Glass had committed no crime and the patrol should move on, officers on the scene decided to breach the car window and remove him.
One officer stood on the hood of the surrounded car while a second broke the passenger side window, at which point Glass grabbed his small rock knife and appears to both brandish it toward officers and possibly cut himself. Officers fired “less-lethal” bean bag rounds and shot Glass with a taser, shouting commands at him while he screamed but the 22-year-old did not attempt to exit the vehicle or engage with any of the officers around him.
Ultimately, an officer identified as Clear Creek County Sheriff Deputy Andrew Buen shot Glass five times and killed him. An attorney for the Glass family, Siddhartha Rathod, told Insider Buen was the first to arrive at the scene and repeatedly escalated the encounter.
“Christian was clearly in crisis, but what that crisis was, we’ll never know,” Rathod told Insider. “Was it that he was alone in the dark and scared, or having a medical or mental health crisis? We don’t know.”
Glass had a history of minor depression and took medication for ADHD, Rathod said. He also smoked marijuana — which is legal in the state of Colorado — but had no significant mental illness or history of psychosis.
“What we do know is that when someone calls 911, whether they’re scared or having a mental health crisis, this isn’t what we expect of our law enforcement. This isn’t how they should respond,” Rathod told Insider.