Family of Colorado man shot, killed by law enforcement reaches $19M settlement

Parents of a Colorado man shot to death last year by law enforcement officers announced a $19 million settlement on Tuesday.

Sally and Simon Glass, parents of Christian Glass, announced the financial settlement with Clear Creek County, the state of Colorado, the town of Georgetown and the city of Idaho Springs.

“The size of the settlement reflects the immense wrong and injustice committed by the officers that killed Christian, whose death has broken his family and left an immeasurable void,” the law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, which represented the Glass family, said in a statement.

Two former Clear Creek Sheriff's Office employees, Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould, were criminally charged in the case and dismissed from the force.

Christian Glass’ automobile became disabled and he experienced a mental health crisis, according to an investigation. He called 9-1-1 for assistance. The event ended with law enforcement attempting to forcibly remove Glass from the car and shooting him five times.

According to Glass’ lawyers, the indictment against the officers states “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.”

The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office also issued an apology on Tuesday for the officers failing to “meet expectations in their response” to Glass when he sought assistance.

“The initial press release did not give an accurate description of what occurred,” the release stated. “Rather, as stated in the conclusion of the investigative report subsequently issued by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after an independent review requested by Sheriff (Rick) Albers, the deputy who killed Christian Glass used lethal force that ‘was not consistent with that of a reasonable officer.’”

Idaho Springs and Georgetown also released statements regarding a press release issued by the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office after the incident. They said the release inaccurately characterized Glass “as a criminal actor responsible for his own death.”

“That press release should have included more specific details and, once inaccuracies were realized, all involved agencies should have immediately corrected the information,” according to the statement from Idaho Springs.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, whom the lawyers said was the first elected official to condemn the incident, will hold a ceremony on Wednesday honoring Glass’ life and will be joined by his parents.

The settlement also includes Clear Creek County’s agreement to dedicate a public park to Glass. The county also agreed to establish a dedicated crisis response team by Jan. 1, 2025, and will train and certify all patrol officers in crisis intervention.

As part of the settlement, the Colorado State Patrol will develop a virtual reality training scenario similar to the incident with Glass and focus on de-escalation in high-stress situations.

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