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Parents of Christian Glass receive $19 million record settlement

The parents of a man who was shot and killed by a Clear Creek Sheriff deputy in 2022 will receive a $19 million settlement, the largest known settlement in Colorado history.

In Nov. 2021, the city of Aurora agreed to pay the family of Elijah McClain $15 million. The 22-year-old died after being stopped by police, manhandled and drugged with Ketamine to subdue him. At the time, it was Colorado’s largest known settlement.

The Glass family agreement was signed last week and made public Tuesday at one minute after midnight.

The Glass case has attracted national attention because of possible police misconduct and partly because the intense interaction and violent end was caught on body-worn cameras.

The criminal case against former Clear Creek Sheriff deputies Kyle Gould and Andrew Buen is moving toward trial.

Buen faces several charges, including second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct in the shooting death of Glass on June 11, 2022. Gould, who was making decisions to direct his officers that night from his home, faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

That night, Christian Glass was driving alone on a mountain road near Silverplume when his car got stuck. He called 911 and talked to the operator for nearly half an hour.

By the time law enforcement responded, the 22-year-old told officers that he was “terrified.” After 70 minutes of negotiation, he was tazed by Buen, the video showed. Glass then brandished a small knife, appeared to stab himself and, according to the body cam video, was allegedly shot by Buen and died at the scene.

Along with the monetary settlement were a multiple police reform initiatives.

Tuesday morning, Glass’ parents, Simon and Sally Glass, will attend a ceremony by Governor Polis as he presents some of their son’s artwork. It will be hung at various government buildings.

The money will be distributed to the Glass family and their attorneys, Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC, who also represented McClain’s mother, Sheneen, in her lawsuit.

In addition to the settlement, the town of Idaho Springs will dedicate a public park named to Glass.

In an apology letter, Clear County Sheriff Rick Elbers acknowledged that “his officers failed to meet expectations in their response to Christian Glass when he called for assistance.”

In the document, the Sheriff outlined a plan to assemble a county-wide crisis response team to be implanted by the beginning of 2025, improve training and announced a Citizens Policy Advisory board.

In accordance with the agreement, the state of Colorado will also implement changes in training including a virtual reality system named after Glass.

The family thanked Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum in the press release “for her diligent prosecution of Officers Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould, two of the murderers of Christian.

“The court in the criminal case has found that, ‘malicious intent can be inferred from the aggressive demeanor and the ultimate action of the Defendant shooting Mr. Glass as seen in the bodycam footage’.”

This story is developing and will be updated Tuesday.

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