After getting stuck on a dirt road in Clear Creek County in June, Christian Glass called 911 for help.
Instead, the 22-year-old was killed while locked inside his own car after a long, tense, confusing and chaotic confrontation played out between him and Clear Creek deputies and a handful of other agencies. Video footage was released by his family’s lawyers.
Glass’s parents, Sally and Simon Glass, will speak to reporters later today to try and clear their son’s name and announce their intention to eventually sue the responding agencies responsible for their son’s death.
“From beginning to end, the officers escalated and proactively initiated force,” Glass’ family lawyers, Siddhartha Rathod and Qusair Mohamedbhai, said, in a release. “And yet, these officers, including the one who killed Christian, are still in uniform and have paid no price for their conduct. Our country cannot continue to tolerate this level of extreme violence by law enforcement. The act of simply calling 911 for help cannot be a death sentence.”
A call for help
Late on the night of June 10, 2022, Glass apparently got his car stuck on a rural road near Silver Plume.
When he phoned 911 from his cell phone asking for help, he sounded mentally unstable, paranoid and extremely scared. He told an operator his car was ensnared in a “trap” in a bush and he said he didn’t like the town he was in.
“I’m in a 2007 Honda Pilot .. I will not be fine on my own,” he told an operator. “You’re sending someone right? You tracked my location? My car is stuck under a bush … I love you. You’re my light right now. I’m really scared. I’m sorry.”
A Boulder County resident, Glass was an amateur geologist and had some knives and a hammer in his car from a recent trip to Utah.
Glass, whose parents are from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, told the dispatcher he had what could be perceived as weapons in the car and he offered to throw them outside when officers arrived.
“I have two knives and a hammer and a rubber mallet,” he said, in a slight accent, to the emergency dispatcher. “I’m not dangerous. I’ll keep my hands completely visible. I understand this is a dodgy situation.”
The dispatcher relayed that information to deputies.
“I’m not having any luck clearing this party and he’s not making much sense,” the dispatcher told the deputies.
When they arrived on the scene, Glass again offered to throw the tools and knives out the window.
Deputies said they didn’t want him to throw the weapons out of the car and instead demanded that he get out of the car.
A tense scene
Glass told officers with his hands up that he didn’t feel safe getting out of the car. He took the keys out of the ignition and put them on the dashboard and told them he was scared and wanted to stay in the car. He wasn’t suspected of any crime.
“Please push me out, drag me out, I’ll follow you to a police station,” Glass told the officers. “I’m so scared.”
The deputy, whose name has not been released by authorities, yelled at Glass.
“You need to step out of the car now. Step out of the car,” he said. “That is a lawful order. Step out of the car now or you’ll be removed from the vehicle.”
Glass responded, “I’m so scared … You’re not communicating clearly with me. I don’t understand why I have to come out.”
Within three minutes, the deputy threatened to break the window, yelling again, ”step out of the car!”
Glass can be seen on the body camera footage placing his palms together as in prayer and saying, “Lord, please don’t let them break the window!”
Within six minutes of responding, the deputy sees Glass’ knife and pulls out his gun. Glass throws the knife to the other side of the car and puts his hands up.
Glass didn’t appear to be posing any threats — to himself or to others. He told officers he “smoked” but no one asked him anything else beyond that.
Throughout the confrontation, Glass remained in the car with the windows rolled up. He can be seen making a heart-shape with his hands at the officers.
“You have my name and phone number, right?” he asked them.
More officers arrived on the scene. At one point, officers from Clear Creek, Idaho Springs, Georgetown Police, Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Division of Gaming were on the scene.
“Come talk to us,” a female officer asked him. Glass put his hands into a heart sign in the car and then blew kisses at her. “Same back at you, but come out and talk to us,” she said.
That officer walked over to two other female officers and joked that they needed to send “cute girls” over there to talk to him.
Read the article in its entirety at cpr.org