• Tue. Dec 6th, 2022



CNN

Two Colorado lawmakers have been charged and fired after investigations into the fatal police shooting in June of Christian Glass, a 22-year-old man who was armed with a knife and called 911 for roadside assistance, officials and family attorneys say.

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputies Andrew Buen, 29, and Kyle Gould, 36, according to Fifth Circuit District Attorney Heidi McCollum’s office.

Buen faces charges of second-degree murder, misconduct and reckless endangerment, while Gould faces involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, according to online court filings.

The charges relate to the killing of Glass, who was shot early in the morning of June 11, more than an hour after police first arrived, and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. The autopsy report showed Glass’s injuries were fatal and included five gunshot wounds to the torso and one to the right arm.

The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office received a “motorist assistance” call at 11:21 p.m. June 10 about what appeared to be a vehicle accident, the office said, but its driver Glass “immediately became argumentative and uncooperative with the deputies and had himself.” armed with a knife.”

The Glass family has disputed this characterization, saying in September their son did not carry weapons and that the knives were stone tools used in rock carving as an art form.

The bond for Buen was set at $50,000 and for Gould at $2,500. No attorney is listed for either of them, and both men are being held at the Gilpin County Correctional Facility, according to online records.

CNN is working to obtain copies of the indictments.

Both deputies were fired after the arraignment, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The statement called the charges “part of a painful but necessary process” and “policy and procedural flaws” had been identified in an ongoing internal inquiry running in parallel with the criminal investigation.

“While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary findings indicate that there were policy and procedural flaws, and the initial press release regarding the shooting, based on information available at the time of the incident, does not reflect the entirety of what was at this horrific happened overnight,” the statement said.

A statement from Glass’s family attorneys said, “Nothing will bring Christian back to his family,” but noted they were relieved by the charges.

“Justice for Christians, however, requires all parties involved to be held accountable. Christian’s death is an eyesore to every officer who was present and failed to prevent the escalation and unnecessary use of force,” the statement said.

In a 911 call audio released by the von Glass family in September, he tells the dispatcher, “I have a gun on me. I’ll throw her out the window as soon as an officer gets here,” she goes on to describe having two knives, a hammer, and a rubber mallet.

Body camera video of the incident released by the family shows Glass offering to throw the guns out of the car and a responding officer telling him not to.

“He actually offered to throw his stone knives and his tools out the window so they wouldn’t worry. But they told him no and he obeyed,” Glass’s mother, Sally Glass, said at a news conference in September.

In the body camera video, MPs can be heard responding and repeatedly telling Glass to exit the vehicle.

A responding officer asks Glass if he was on drugs, to which Glass replies, “I smoked, I was…” before being distracted by an officer putting adhesive tape behind his car, video shows.

The autopsy report released by attorneys for the Glass family states that Glass had both THC and amphetamine in his system.

The deputies were able to force open the car’s windows and remove one of the knives, but Glass armed himself with a rock and a second knife, according to the sheriff’s office. In the video, MPs can be heard repeatedly urging Glass to drop the knife.

The deputies used bean bags and a taser “with negative results” before Glass “ultimately attempted to stab an officer,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Body camera video shows police then firing a stun gun at Glass before he could be seen spinning and then seemingly thrusting a knife at an officer before police fired multiple shots. The video then shows Glass apparently stabbing himself.

Body camera video released by family lawyers was edited to blur Glass’s body.

“The only thing we edited from the videos is after Christian was removed from the car. We blur the screen where his body is lying on the ground and his body is being medicated. We didn’t think it was appropriate to show Christian’s naked body to the world,” said attorney Siddhartha Rathod.

CNN has requested an unedited copy of the body camera footage from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

In a statement in September, Glass’s family and attorneys said he was experiencing a mental health episode.

“There was no need to threaten him with violence; to draw weapons; smash his car window; firing beanbag missiles at close range; to tast him; to shoot him dead. From start to finish, officers at the scene acted in an unscrupulous and inhumane manner,” said Glass’s parents and attorneys.

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