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Clear Creek County commissioners condemn sheriff for failure to accept responsibility in Glass death

In a scathing public statement, the Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners blasted Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers for failing to accept responsibility for his “central role” in the June 2022 shooting death of Christian Glass, allegedly by a sheriff’s deputy.

Commissioner Randy Wheelock read the statement at the board’s bi-monthly meeting Tuesday morning and made no further comment.

Stating that they fully stand by Glass’s family, the three-person board also criticized Albers for not addressing “the need to swiftly correct all of the gaps in training and protocols that existed at the time of Christian’s death.”

In a stronger separate written statement, Glass’s family called for Albers’ resignation in wake of last month’s record $19 million civil settlement.  “By resigning, Sheriff Albers can begin to acknowledge and take responsibility for the failures that occurred during his watch.”

The Board of County Commissioners does not have the power to terminate its elected officials but the public could have a say through a petition recall. It’s not known if such an effort is underway.

There was no immediate response from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

In a May 23 apology letter, Albers acknowledged that “his officers failed to meet expectations in their response to Christian Glass when he called for assistance.”

Sally Glass told The Denver Gazette in an earlier interview that Albers’ statement was “weak” and showed “a lack of understanding of what they have done.”

Simon and Sally Glass acknowledged that Albers did apologize to them face-to-face during settlement negotiations, which they said meant more to them than his official apology letter.

Glass was shot and killed in Silver Plume just after midnight last June 11 after a nearly hour-long negotiation with first responders who answered his 911 call.

A Clear Creek County grand jury indicted Kyle Gould and Andy Buen on criminal charges in Glass’ death on Nov. 23. The 22-year-old was shot five times, allegedly by Buen, during an intense and lengthy standoff.

Gould gave the order to breach the window of Glass’ car, but was not present when the 22-year-old was shot.

There were seven officers on scene the night Glass was killed. The Glass family has expressed disappointment that not all of them were charged in Glass’s  death.

Clear Creek County is one of four Colorado governments that will pay Glass’s family.

The $19 million award is believed to be the largest for a police killing in Colorado, topping the $15 million settlement reached in 2021 for the death of Elijah McClain, and also ranks among the top in the United States, according to attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai.

Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC also represented McClain’s mother. Elijah McClain was a 23-year-old Black man who died in 2019 after police in the Denver suburb of Aurora forcibly restrained him and a paramedic injected him with the powerful sedative ketamine.

Albers was elected to his third term as Clear Creek County Sheriff in November.

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