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Christian Glass case: $19 million settlement reached in death of 22-year-old shot and killed by police

$19 million settlement reached in Colorado police killing of Christian Glass
$19 million settlement reached in Colorado police killing of Christian Glass 03:02

$19 million; that's the sum of the "blood money" going to Simon and Sally Glass, the parents of Christian Glass, who was shot and killed by police last year.

That's the largest known payout after a police killing in state history, topping the $15 million settlement reached in 2021 for the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of Aurora police and paramedics.

The civil case for Christian Glass's death resulted in that massive settlement, which might be the largest known pay out after a police killing in Colorado history. But the criminal case for the two former Clear Creek Sheriff's Office employees charged in the case, Andrew Buen, 29, and Kyle Gould, 36, is still ongoing.

Clear Creek County

"Everyone talks in terms of, 'what is the number?'" Simon Glass, Christian's father, told Mountain Newsroom Reporter Spencer Wilson. "It's kinda meaningless in the sense that it doesn't bring him back. It is blood money, what are we going to do with it? We have to do some good with it."

Sally Glass, Christian's mother, said she believes it would be a good idea to create a foundation, in part with the funding, to help stop shootings like this and the tragedy that falls on families like theirs.

Here's a breakdown over how much each agency or community will pay, according to court records:

  • Clear Creek County will pay $10 million;
  • The Colorado State Office of Risk Management, on behalf of the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Department of Revenue, will pay $3 million;
  • The town of Georgetown will pay $5 million;
  • And the city of Idaho Springs will pay $1 million.

There's much more to the settlement than money though.

Clear Creek County has also agreed to dedicate a public park in Christian Glass's name, after his parents are consulted. It's not clear when or where that will happen. His parents said they've seen other victims not be able to talk about the horrible things that have happened to them and, in essence, they become taboo.

"We don't want to be like that," Simon Glass said.

Instead, they want the park to be a reminder of their son to Clear Creek County, in his memory, but also as a reminder of the accountability for the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office.

"'Christian Glass, who was Christian Glass?' That was a boy who was murdered,'" Sally Glass said, referencing how the public could see the park.

The second part of the settlement: Clear Creek County will establish a crisis response team by 2025, although the county had already been working on plans for this in 2022. The idea is to help get someone trained to deal with crises just like Christian Glass's non-violently. The county is hoping to get someone on retention for crisis response right away, in light of this shooting.

Finally, the firm representing Glass's family said the Colorado State Patrol will create a virtual reality training scenario based on Glass's murder, focusing on "de-escalation in a high-stress situation." This will include an introduction to the video with a presentation by Glass's parents, explaining the importance of an officer's duty to intervene.

They hope this will prevent what happened to their son the night of June 10, when Christian Glass's car broke down.

Clear Creek County

One of the biggest moments for Simon and Sally Glass was seeing the press release apology from the the Clear Creek County Sheriff for what happened, including admitting their organization didn't stick to the facts when telling the public about their son's death. The statement said the initial release "did not give an accurate description of what occurred."

"That was fantastic for us," Sally Glass said. "Because, yeah, you lied, and it should have never happened, and you murdered our son."

"To put that in writing is very very important because it cleared his name which what we wanted to do from the outset, he didn't do anything wrong, he was murdered."

The Glass family told CBS News Colorado they had to lay their son to rest under the assumption he had done something wrong. Now they believe their son is vindicated, but are still waiting for the conviction of the officers and deputies involved in his murder.

Buen and Gould are due back in court for a hearing on June 21.

"He had a really strong sense of justice, even as a little kid," Simon Glass said. "He would have wanted us to try and get to this point."

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