Family of man killed by Clear Creek deputy wants more cops charged
GEORGETOWN, Colo. — Wearing pink, their son’s favorite color, Sally and Simon Glass sat in the front row of a Georgetown courthouse Monday, where they watched a hearing for two now-former deputies charged in the death of their son.
The pair, Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould, did not speak during the motions hearing.
Outside of court, the Glass family spoke to local media for the first time since a grand jury indicted Buen and Gould the day before Thanksgiving. After expressing their relief for the charges, they called for more officers who were on the scene that night to be charged. They claimed the other officers could have intervened and stopped Buen before he broke their son’s window, which escalated the situation that led to Glass’s death.
Seven officers from several jurisdictions are seen in body camera videos of the incident before the shooting. The ones on scene came from the Georgetown Police Department, Idaho Springs Police Department, Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol.
“It’s a crime: failure to intervene,” Glass’s mother Sally told reporters. “You’re watching a bully committing a crime. They had a duty to say stop, but no one did.”
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum couldn’t confirm whether other officers might be charged but did say the case was still being looked at.
“With regard to this case, it is possible that there could be more in regard to what the grand jury is doing right now,” McCollum said.
Buen, the deputy who first responded to Christian Glass’s call for help in June, was charged with second-degree murder and two misdemeanors: official misconduct and reckless endangerment. Buen is seen on body camera video breaking Glass’ window, shooting him with bean bag rounds and using a Taser on him before finally shooting and killing him.
Gould, a supervisor who wasn’t on scene at the time of the shooting, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. An indictment says Gould was watching Buen’s encounter with Glass via a body camera’s livestream and alleges Gould gave officers on scene that night authorization to break into Glass’ car.
Simon Glass, Christian’s father, returned to Colorado Sunday night after visiting family in his native New Zealand. Glass said it was the first visit with family since body camera video of his son’s encounter with police was released.
“I sat down with my sister and immediately burst into tears, and this was just so horrible…just so awful,” he said. “How did this happen? How could this horrible thing happen? What were they thinking? And I just don’t have any answers.”
The charges from the Grand Jury came when Simon Glass was out of town.
“It was certainly a relief…we were really worried about it,” he told reporters. “It’s the start of the process and we really hope that everyone involved is held accountable.”
Sally Glass said conversations with family have been much easier since more of the story behind Christian’s death came out. The day after the shooting, a press release from the sheriff’s office claimed Glass was argumentative and threatened officers.
An internal affairs investigation into the incident conducted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office found that the initial press release didn’t reflect the entirety of what happened that night.
“They said at the beginning that the police were defending themselves and then Christian attacked them,” Sally Glass said. “And when I heard that…you know, you know when your kid’s never been in a fight and your kid has never shown any aggression ever, and you just go ‘that doesn’t make sense.’”
“He’s praying and he’s doing a heart symbol…please, please don’t hurt me and they just did,” she said. “They smashed his windows, and they attacked him, and they terrorized him, and they murdered him.”
During Monday’s motions hearing, the judge granted a motion by Buen’s legal team to allow them access to Christian’s car, which is being held as evidence in the case in a tow yard.
Gould’s attorney filed a motion requesting he be allowed to travel to Arizona to visit his family for the holidays. Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Potts read a statement from the Glass family objecting to Gould’s travel because they wouldn’t be able to spend the holiday with their family. But Judge Catherine Cheroutes granted the motion.
“There’s no legal objection,” Sally Glass said outside court. “I think there’s a moral objection. He gets to spend Christmas with his family and holidays with his family and we don’t get to have all of our family with us at Christmas.”
Both former deputies are due back in court in late January.
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