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Six additional Colorado officers charged in fatal police shooting of Christian Glass

A candlelight vigil is held for Christian Glass, 22, at Citizen’s Park in Idaho Springs, Colorado, on Sept. 20, 2022. A Clear Creek County deputy shot and killed Glass on June 11, 2022, after Glass called 911 for help after crashing his car into a berm. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post/TNS)  (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post/TNS)
By Shelly Bradbury Denver Post

DENVER – Six additional law enforcement officers were criminally charged this week in connection with the police shooting of Christian Glass, the 22-year-old Boulder, Colorado, man who was killed by a Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy after he called 911 for help in 2022.

Georgetown Marshal Randy Williams, 63; Georgetown police Officer Timothy Collins, 31; Idaho Springs police Officer Brittany Morrow, 35; Colorado State Trooper Ryan Bennie, 43; and Division of Gaming officers Christa Lloyd, 31; and Mary J. Harris, 69, were all charged Thursday with failing to intervene in the excessive force of another officer.

Williams is also charged with third-degree assault; charging documents say he caused “bodily injury” to Glass during the incident.

The six law enforcement officers are scheduled to make their first appearances in court on Dec. 12 on the new charges, which are all Class 1 misdemeanors.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum filed the new criminal charges the same day a former sergeant involved in the case, Kyle Gould, pleaded guilty to failing to intervene in the excessive force of another officer. He was sentenced to probation.

“Law enforcement officers must be held accountable for their actions when performing their trusted public service duties,” McCollum said in a statement issued Friday morning.

Gould and Andrew Buen, the Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy who shot Glass, were until Friday the only two officers who faced criminal charges stemming from the June 2022 incident. Buen has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct. Both were fired after the incident, and Gould agreed to never again work as a law enforcement officer when he pleaded guilty Thursday.

When asked about the timing of the new charges and the yearlong gap since charges were brought against Buen and Gould, McCollum noted that Buen and Gould were indicted by a grand jury.

“As a result of the grand jury, there were only two individuals who did receive indictments and the two individuals who were charged with the most serious crimes,” she said in an interview. “… The severity of those charges really needed to be handled first. And since those cases have developed, it was determined that it was appropriate that every other officer on scene be charged.”

Glass was experiencing a mental health crisis when he called 911 on the night of June 10, 2022, and asked for help because he’d crashed his car down an embankment in Clear Creek County. He told the dispatcher that he was afraid of “skinwalkers” and people chasing him.

Seven law enforcement officers responded and spent more than an hour trying to coax Glass out of the car while he was experiencing delusions and paranoia. Eventually, Buen called Gould, who was his supervisor, and Gould gave permission for the officers to break Glass’ window and pull him from the car, even though Glass was not suspected of a crime.

In the chaos that ensued, Glass grabbed a knife and officers fired a Taser at him and shot him with beanbags in an attempt to force him to drop it. Instead, Glass twisted in the driver’s seat and thrust the knife toward an officer standing next to the shattered window behind him, prompting the deputy to shoot him.

A grand jury later found Glass committed no crime and acted in self-defense before he was killed. The involved agencies agreed to a $19 million settlement with Glass’ parents in May.

“Those six officers didn’t pull the trigger, but they absolutely had a responsibility to stop that rogue cop,” Sally Glass, Christian’s mother, said during a news conference Friday. “… Six of them stood by and let him be murdered.”

Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a statement Friday that Glass’ death was a tragedy and that “those responsible for his death should be held accountable.” But he said that group doesn’t include Bennie.

“I found no indication that Trooper Bennie violated any Colorado State Patrol policy or training.” Packard said in the statement. “I am shocked by the decision of the district attorney to pursue charges against Trooper Bennie.”

When reached by phone Friday, Collins declined to comment and referred questions to his attorney, Reid Elkus, who did not immediately return a request for comment. Elkus previously represented former Aurora police Officer Randy Roedema, who was last month convicted of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault in the death of Elijah McClain.