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$19 Million Settlement in Police Shooting of 911 Caller

In the largest settlement over police misconduct in Colorado history, the state of Colorado and three local law enforcement agencies agreed to pay $19 million and revise their training over the fatal shooting last June of a 22-year-old man who called 911 for help after he crashed his car, the Denver Post reports. The agreement's non-financial concessions by the state and the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office including using the death of Christian Glass in police training scenarios to teach the importance of de-escalation, the creation of a crisis response team in Clear Creek County and an agreement that Glass’s parents can participate in law enforcement training by speaking about the loss of their son. “The Sheriff acknowledges that his officers failed to meet expectations in their response to Christian Glass when he called for assistance,” Sheriff Rick Albers said in an apology written as a condition of the settlement. “The events that transpired the night of June 10-11, 2022, that ended in Christian’s death, continue to be disturbing.”

Glass called 911 after he crashed his car on an embankment in Silver Plume and told the call-taker he was afraid of “skinwalkers” and people chasing him. Seven officers from five agencies — Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, Georgetown Police Department, Idaho Springs Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Division of Gaming — responded to the call. Glass sat in the driver’s seat for more than an hour while officers attempted to coax him out of the car. The officers then decided to forcibly remove him, prompting Glass to grab a knife and swing it at one of the officers who was standing outside the rear driver’s-side window. Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy Andrew Buen then shot and killed Glass. Buen was fired and later indicted on second-degree murder charges. Other officers were also disciplined and charged. “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,” attorneys for the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm said in a statement on behalf of the Glass family. “Christian Glass should be alive today. This settlement sends a message that such injustice will not be tolerated, and that those responsible will be held accountable — including those officers who stood by and failed to intervene to protect Christian.”


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