Six officers have been cited for failing to intervene when a Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot Christian Glass after he called 911 for roadside assistance while experiencing a mental health crisis in June 2022.
The misdemeanor count was filed against former Georgetown Police Marshal Randy Williams, Idaho Springs Officer Brittany Morrow, Colorado Division of Gaming officers Mary Harris and Christa Lloyd, Colorado State Patrol trooper Ryan Bennie and former Clear Creek County deputy Tim Collins, who now works as an officer in Georgetown, according to a statement from the Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum on Friday morning.
Williams also faces third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, documents show.
“Law enforcement officers must be held accountable for their actions when performing their trusted public service duties,” McCollum said. “Yesterday, my office filed additional charges against each of the six other officers who were present June 11, 2022, for failing to intervene in the events and actions of Andrew Buen, which led to Christian Glass’ death.”
Body camera footage from the fatal shooting doesn’t show that any officer on the scene attempted to stop the breach of Glass’ car before the 22-year-old was shot. Footage from the June 2022 shooting shows the officers on a road in the small mountain town of Silver Plume for more than 70 minutes as Glass refuses to come out of his car, telling police he’s terrified and making a heart shape with his hands to officers.
At one point, Glass also can be seen praying with folded hands and saying, “Dear Lord, don’t let them break the window.” When officers broke the window, Glass seemed to panic and grabbed a knife.
In November 2022, a grand jury found that the decision to remove Glass from the vehicle directly resulted in his death.
Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said he reviewed body camera footage from the shooting and found “no indication” that Bennie violated any of the agency’s policies or training.
“I am shocked by the decision of the District Attorney to pursue charges against Trooper Bennie,” Packard said in a statement Friday.
Bennie, who has been assigned to CSP for four years, will be reassigned to an administrative position while the case is pending, he said.
The charges come a day after former Clear Creek County sheriff’s supervisor, who authorized the removal of Christian Glass from his car, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors.
Kyle Gould pleaded guilty to ignoring his duty to intervene and his duty to report use of force by peace officers. He was sentenced by a Clear Creek County District judge to two years of unsupervised probation and a $1,000 fine. He is also barred from working in law enforcement or security.
In exchange for Gould’s guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a felony charge of criminally negligent homicide, court documents show.
For weeks and months after their son’s death, including at his funeral, Sally and Simon Glass said they believed their son died by “suicide by cop” after getting information from the police.
“That was our reality and our truth for many weeks,” Simon said during a news conference in downtown Denver Friday afternoon. “We found it very hard to believe, impossible to believe, but that’s what we were told.”
Simon said the statement issued by the sheriff’s office after Glass’ death was deceptive and revealed a “cultural problem” within law enforcement agencies.
After the body-camera footage was released in September 2022, more than 14 weeks after their son’s death, Sally and Simon gained clarity in what happened in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting.
“It became clear that instead Christian was viciously attacked and murdered,” Simon said.
Sally said she was grateful that all officers on the scene were being held accountable for the death of her son, whom she remembered as a “gentle, kind, artistic soul.”
“There are bad apples. There are rogue cops. Christian faced an evil bully that night … and six of them stood by and let him be murdered, ” Sally said.
“It’s not that they didn’t do anything wrong, that’s the point,” she said. “They didn’t do anything and they should have.”
From outside the Clear Creek County courthouse Thursday, Simon stood by his wife, wishing all officers were held accountable for failing to stop the killing of their son.
“They all behaved abominably,” he said. “Nothing can bring Christian back, but we really want everyone there to be held accountable. We’ve said that from the start. And it’s really time for that to happen now. I think it’s been 17 months that we’ve been waiting for justice.”
Andrew Buen, the former deputy who shot and killed Glass, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and criminally negligent homicide. Buen’s next court appearance is set for Dec. 20, where a trial date is likely to be scheduled.
Williams, Collins, Morrow, Bennie, Lloyd, and Harris are all scheduled to appear in court Dec. 12.