A settlement worth $19 million was announced on Tuesday to be paid to the family of a man from Colorado who was killed by police during a mental health crisis. In June 2022, Christian Glass, who was 22 years old, was shot and killed by police after calling for roadside assistance when his SUV became stranded in the mountain town of Silver Plume, Colorado. His death prompted demands for reform in the way police officers deal with individuals experiencing mental health crises.
A lawyer representing Glass’ family stated in a press release that “The amount of the settlement reflects the immense wrongs and injustices committed by the police officers who killed Christian. It left no blank space,” and added that they would be held accountable. In addition to the $19 million settlement with local and state authorities, the proposed settlement includes “impact measures aimed at honoring the memory of Christians and creating lasting change” in local and state authorities. These measures include changes to how police officers are trained to respond to crisis intervention situations, as well as the establishment of a park in Clear Creek County dedicated to Glass.
“In addition, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to train and certify all patrol officers in crisis intervention,” lawyers commented in a statement, “These agreements recognize the critical importance of law enforcement responding to emergencies, including mental health crises, with a focus on professionalism, empathy, and detente.” Moreover, the sheriff’s office of Clear Creek County apologized to Glass’ family in a statement on Tuesday, admitting that officers had failed to meet expectations in their response when Glass called for help.
According to court documents, Glass had claimed that he was in a mental health crisis, including being followed, in the days leading up to his killing at the hands of police. The lawyer for Glass’ family claims that he exhibited no signs of danger when officers broke into his car after he had been stranded on the roadside for over an hour. After officers used beanbags and taping to subdue Glass, he was asked to put down the knife he was holding multiple times. When he did not comply, an officer fired his gun five times, killing Glass.
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