Six Colorado police officers who were present when distressed driver Christian Glass was shot and killed after calling 911 have been charged with failing to intervene in his killing.
Glass, 22, was fatally shot five times in Georgetown last year after he refused to get out of his car during an hour-long standoff because he was “terrified” and was reportedly suffering from a mental health crisis.
On Friday, former Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputies Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould were charged with second-degree murder last year, and now every other officer on the scene when Glass was killed has also been charged for their roles.
Earlier this week, Gould pleaded guilty to charges related to reporting the use of force and intervening in Glass’ death, a Class 1 misdemeanor. He was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. He can never work as a police officer in Colorado again.
Police have now also charged Georgetown Marshal Randy Williams with two misdemeanors – failure to intervene and third-degree assault. Former Game Division Deputy Timothy Collins Christa Lloyd and Mary J Harris, Idaho Springs Officer Brittany Morrow and State Trooper Ryan Bennie were each charged with one count of failure to intervene. All charges are Class 1 misdemeanors.
Six Colorado police officers who were present when distressed driver Christian Glass, 22, was shot after calling 911 for help
Georgetown Police Marshal Randolph Williams is on scene. He was charged with failure to intervene and third-degree assault
Mary Harris (left) and Christa Lloyd (right) of the Colorado Division of Gaming Division also were charged in connection with Glass’ death
Former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Gould Pleads Pleas to ‘Duty to Report Use of Force by Peace Officers – Duty to Intervene – Class 1 Misdemeanor’
Gould was not at the scene of Glass’ death, but he ordered the driver’s side window to be broken while observing the incident on a live camera.
Former Clear Creek deputy Buen, who was also offered a plea deal, was the one who smashed Glass’ window and shot him with bean bag bullets, then shocked him with a vaporizer and shot him five times in the chest. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is awaiting trial.
Both Gould and Buen were released after being charged last year.
District Attorney Heidi McCollum said in a statement: “Law enforcement officers must be accountable for their actions while carrying out their public service responsibilities.
“Yesterday, my office filed additional charges against each of the six remaining officers who were present on June 11, 2022, for failing to intervene in the events and actions of Andrew Buena that led to the death of Christian Glass.”
Gould negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a lesser charge of failure to intervene, a crime arising under police reform legislation passed during protests over the 2020 murder of George Floyd. It carries a penalty of up to 364 days in jail, but the deal included that Gould would receive a suspended sentence.
Former Clear Creek deputy Tim Collins, also charged, is seen at the scene
Idaho Spring police officer Brittany Morrow also was charged for her role
Former Clear Creek deputy Buen, who was also offered a plea deal, was the one who broke Glass’ window and shot him. He is awaiting trial
Gould entered his plea and was sentenced in front of Christian Glass’s parents, Sally and Simon Glass, in an Idaho Springs courthouse.
A statement released by their lawyers expressed support for prosecutors and noted that Gould had accepted responsibility for his role in their son’s death.
“The Glass family hopes that the larger law enforcement community will learn from this accusation and make changes in its policies and culture to prevent tragedies like this in the future,” it said.
Glass, from New Zealand, called 911 for roadside assistance while experiencing what his mother described as a mental health crisis in June 2022.
He refused to get out of the car because he was “terrified” and made heart-shaped signs with his hands and flashed a knife at officers.
Officers spoke to him and tried to convince him to exit the car. The indictment stated that after about an hour of negotiations, officers decided to break into the car even though there was no indication that Glass posed a threat or was suspected of committing a crime.
After breaking the window, body camera footage shows officers spraying Glass with bean bag rounds and then steaming him with a vaporizer.
According to the indictment, Glass brandished the knife “in a state of complete panic and self-defense” before turning around in his chair and throwing the knife at the officer.
Buen then fired five times at Glass.
At the time, Glass’ mother, Sally, said her son suffered from depression, had recently been diagnosed with ADHD, “had a mental episode” and was “petrified” on the night of his death.
Glass’ family also said he had two knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet because he was an amateur geologist. Glass told 911 he had knives, but police rejected his attempts to throw the gun out the window.
She said in court this week: “Our son was a nice kid, and they killed a good kid. I also hope that Mr. Gould will now, well, throughout his life, think about being kinder and more compassionate to people who are in trouble.
Earlier this year, Glass’ parents won a $19 million settlement that included policy changes including crisis intervention training for officers responding to distressed people.