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Christian Glass: Family of Colorado man shot by police get $19m settlement

The family of a man who was shot dead by police in Colorado while suffering a mental health crisis will receive a $19m (£15.3m) settlement.

The payment from both state and local authorities is the largest lawsuit settlement in Colorado’s history.

The agreement, which was announced on Tuesday, also mandates local police to create a crisis response team and boost training in crisis intervention.

Christian Glass was killed by a sheriff’s deputy last June.

His death drew national attention and prompted calls to reform how police respond to people with mental health issues.

The 22-year-old had called police after his car became stuck on an embankment in the rural town of Silver Plume. He initially told the dispatcher he was being followed and made other statements that appeared to show he was hallucinating.

His mother later said he had been suffering a mental health crisis that day and was “petrified”.

Body camera footage shows Mr Glass telling police he is afraid and refusing to exit the car. He can be seen making heart shapes with his hands to the officers and praying.

He offers to throw two knives out of the vehicle but is told by police not to.

After lengthy negotiations, officers smash a window of the vehicle and taser him. A panicked Mr Glass then brandishes a knife before being shot five times.

While an initial police statement indicated he was the aggressor, a grand jury found officers needlessly escalated the stand-off and said Mr Glass did not pose a threat.

A lawyer for his parents, Sally and Simon Glass, said they hoped police would intervene in similar incidents in future.

“Any of the seven officers there could have stopped this simply by saying something. They want to empower law enforcement to have this courage,” Siddhartha Rathod said.

“The size of the settlement reflects the immense wrong and injustice committed by the officers,” he added.

A video message from the couple will be shown to police officers at the start of a training course about how to intervene if they feel a colleague is going too far.

Two officers, sheriff’s deputy Andrew Buen and his supervisor Kyle Gould, are being prosecuted over the incident. Charges includes second-degree murder and official misconduct.

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