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$19M settlement for parents of man killed by deputy in mental health crisis

Denver – A 22-year-old parent A Colorado sheriff’s deputy has been killed after suffering a mental health crisis Colorado and local governments will receive $19 million as well as changes to the way officers are trained under a settlement announced Tuesday.

The shooting of Christian Glass last year after he was stuck in his SUV in the mountain town of Silver Plume drew national attention and calls for reform in how authorities respond to people with mental health issues.

As part of the settlement, Sally and Simon Glass received changes designed to prevent similar incidents. Clear Creek County will establish a crisis response team and its sheriff’s office will train and certify all deputies in crisis intervention, according to documents released by Glass attorneys.

The state of Colorado, which had three officers at the scene of Glass’s slaying on June 11, 2022, in addition to law enforcement from local agencies, will create a virtual reality training scenario for the Colorado State Patrol based on the shooting that will target-escalate stressful situations involving officers from different agencies.

Police shootings are mental health

Simon and Sally Glass comfort each other during an emotional press conference in Denver on September 13, 2022. They called for accountability after police shot and killed their 22-year-old son, Christian Glass, after he called 911 for roadside assistance. The Colorado mountain town of Silver Plume the previous June. Chashma said their son had a mental health episode and the police unnecessarily escalated the situation.

Thomas Piepert/AP

A video message from Simon and Sally Glass will be shown to state troopers and gaming officers at the start of their active bystander training. The program focuses on encouraging officers to intervene if they feel a fellow officer is going too far or need to step away from an incident.

Body camera footage showed no indication that officers from other agencies tried to stop the officers from unlocking the vehicle before Christian Glass was shot.

An attorney at Chashma, Siddharth H. Rathod said they hope hearing their stories will give officers the strength to intervene when needed.

“Any one of the seven officers there could have stopped it by saying something. They want to empower law enforcement to have this courage,” Rathod said of the shooting.

The settlement, which was also joined by the communities of Georgetown and Idaho Springs, is the largest in Colorado for police killings, capped at a $15 million settlement reached in 2021. Death of Elijah McClain And the largest in the United States, Rathod said.


Bodycam footage shows Christian Glass, 22, before he was shot and killed by a deputy on June 10, 2022, in Silver Plume, Colorado.

Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office

His law firm, Rathod Mohammadbhai LLC, said in a statement that, “The size of the settlement reflects the immeasurable wrong and injustice committed by the officials who killed Christian, whose death has shattered his family and created an immeasurable void.
Christian Glass should be alive today.

“This settlement sends a message that such injustices will not be tolerated, and that those responsible will be held accountable — including the officers who stood by and failed to intervene to protect Christians.”

Rathod Mohammadbhai LLC also represented the mother of McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died in 2019 after police tasered him in the Denver suburb of Aurora and a paramedic injected him with the powerful sedative ketamine.

Former Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Buen, who shot Glass, and his supervisor, former Sgt. Kyle Gould, both of whom are on trial in Glass’s death. A grand jury was found They unnecessarily escalated the standoff after she called 911 for help. Gould was not at the scene but watched the events unfold on body camera footage, and officers were given permission to remove the glass from his car, according to court documents.

Lawyers for both officers unsuccessfully tried to get the charges against them dropped. When Buen’s lawyer objected to the information being presented to the grand jury, Gould’s lawyer argued that Glass needed to be evaluated for drug, alcohol and mental health issues and could not just be let go.

In response to police killings of mental anguish, reformers have pushed for crisis intervention and de-escalation training for police and even alternative policing programs in which mental health responders are sent to some emergency calls instead of law enforcement.

Some cities, including Denver, have programs where EMTs and mental health doctors can be dispatched instead of police. But in the area where Glass was killed, about an hour from Denver, that wasn’t an option at the time.

Glass, whose car was stuck on a dirt road, initially told dispatchers he was being followed and made other statements that the complaint alleges he was paranoid, hallucinating or delusional and experiencing a mental health crisis.

Officers’ body camera footage showed Glass refusing to get out of his car, making a heart shape with his hands at the officers and praying: “Dear Lord, please, don’t let them break the window.”

After roughly an hour of deliberation, the officers decided to pull over the car even though there was no indication that Glass posed a danger or that a crime was suspected, according to the grand jury.

Once the window was broken, body camera footage shows officers peppering the glass with bean bag rounds, then tasing him. According to the grand jury, Glass brandished a knife “in a state of complete panic and self-defense” before twisting in his seat to throw the knife at an officer’s command. Buen then fired his gun five times into the glass.

The grand jury found that at no time was the other officer “in imminent danger of stabbing Mr. Glass.”

“But Gould’s decision to remove Mr. Glass from the vehicle provided no reason to believe that Mr. Glass would pose a danger to any law enforcement personnel, to himself, or to any member of the public.” said

Body camera footage does not show officers from other agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol, the Division of Gaming and police in the nearby cities of Idaho Springs and Georgetown, trying to stop the vehicle violation.

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