“They carry guns, and they are licensed to kill with impunity and, in large part, with no accountability”

Parents of young man slain by Colorado police call for justice after body camera footage exposes heinous police murder

On the evening of June 10, 2022, 22-year-old Christian Glass called emergency services after he experienced car trouble while driving through the Rocky Mountains in Silver Plume, located in Clear Creek County, Colorado, west of Denver. Within two hours of calling 911 for help, Glass was executed by police as he sat in the front seat of his vehicle, having never committed a crime.

After three months of lies and evasions from the police, on Tuesday the Glass family and their lawyers held a press conference demanding the police involved in the killing of Christian be charged. During the press conference, lawyers and Christian’s parents denounced the police for issuing lying statements meant to demonize their son and questioned why the killer cop was still out on patrol with “a gun in his pocket.”

Prior to the news conference, Qusair Mohamedbhai and Siddhartha Rathod, lawyers for the Glass family, released hours of police body camera footage, radio dispatches, autopsy reports and police statements, illustrating that the cops have lied since the day of the shooting in an attempt to cover up their criminality. This includes releasing false statements and tampering with police body camera audio footage filmed during the investigation of Glass’ killing by police.

At the press conference, Simon and Sally Glass explained that their son was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. The family moved to the United States when he was 10, and they all eventually settled in Boulder County, Colorado.

Speaking on his son’s behalf Tuesday, Simon Glass said his son was “gentle and polite … he worried a lot about what other people thought of him.

“He was stuck on a small pile of rocks on the side of the road and called 9-1-1 for help. It was dark, and he was really worried. He trusted the police would come and help him,” Simon said. “Instead they attacked and killed him. The killer struck Christian five times to make sure.”

Christian’s mom Sally, said Christian was “sensitive” and that he “saw beauty in nature. He took long drives up into the mountains where he liked to draw and paint.”

A self portrait and another painting by Christian Glass. [Photo: Christian Glass]

She explained that Christian was an athlete, an artist, a chef and an amateur geologist who was recently diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for which he was prescribed Ritalin. He also suffered from depression and occasionally smoked marijuana, which is legal in Colorado.

After apparently becoming stuck while attempting a U-turn on a rural road at night, Glass called for help. While he was speaking with emergency services, Glass relayed to the dispatcher that he was scared, terrified and that he thought other vehicles or people were coming to kill him.

Speaking honestly to the dispatcher, a seemingly paranoid Glass said he was “trapped” in a bush. Asked by the dispatcher if he had any weapons, Glass said that he had a pair of knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet in the vehicle, which he used in his geology expeditions. Glass told the dispatcher, “I’m not dangerous. I’ll keep my hands completely visible. I understand this is a dodgy situation.”

Glass offered to throw the small hammer, rubber mallet and knives out the window of his vehicle when the police arrived, if it made the police feel safer, but that he did not want to get out of the vehicle himself because he thought he was in danger. This information was forwarded by the dispatcher to the police.

However, when the police arrived at the scene, body camera footage confirms that they never took Glass up on his offer to have him throw his “weapons,” all perfectly legal to own, out the window. Instead the footage shows Glass with both of his empty hands outside the window and two deputies with Clear Creek County, escalating the situation by yelling at him and demanding that he adhere to their every command, including exiting the vehicle.

Glass responded by telling the police that he was terrified, that he did not want to be shot, and that he would throw the knives out the car. He requested that police help push his car free from the ditch. The police refused his offer and did not help him push his car.

Instead the police demanded that Glass take the keys out of the ignition and exit the vehicle. Glass did take the keys out of the ignition and place them on the dashboard, however he did not exit the vehicle, repeatedly telling the cops that he is scared and does not want to be shot.

Within three minutes of arriving on the scene, Clear Creek County Deputy Andrew Buen, the cop who would go on to murder Glass, threatened to break the windows of Glass’ car and drag him out multiple times. Less than six minutes after contacting Glass, Buen drew his gun and pointed it at the frightened driver.

For over an hour as more police arrived on the rural road, they continued to go back and forth with the young man demanding he exit the vehicle while alternately threatening him. Throughout the encounter, Glass remained in the front seat the entire time and never attempted to attack the police, who were seen laughing and joking around.

In a video produced by the law firm, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, it is revealed that 45 minutes into the encounter as Glass remained in the vehicle, unwilling to leave, a Colorado State Police officer questioned over the radio if there was any reason for the police to be even engaging with Glass seeing as he had committed no crimes and is simply sitting in his motionless car.

By this time police officers from Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Clear Creek County, Colorado State and the Colorado Division of Gaming were all on the scene.

“If there is no crime, and he is not suicidal, homicidal or a great danger, then there is no reason to contact him,” one Colorado state cop said over the radio.

“Is there a medical issue we’re not aware of?” he asked.

“No,” responded another cop.

Despite this exchange, Clear Creek County and the other police officers continued to engage with Glass. Eventually police decided that it was necessary to break the windows of Glass’s car.

After breaking a window, sending Glass into a panic, two different cops deployed their tasers and zapped Glass, causing him to scream in pain. As he was being tasered another cop yelled, “Impact, impact, impact” and fired six bean-bag rounds at Glass. One of the rounds hit with a such force that it blew out the rear driver’s side window.

Police moments before shooting and killing Christian Glass

As Glass flailed from the barrage of bean bag rounds and electric shocks, he is seen holding a small knife in his hand which he was swinging back and forth in panicked motion. Clear Creek County Deputy Buen, who at this point was standing on top of the hood of the vehicle and in no danger from being stabbed by Glass, proceeded to shoot six rounds through the windshield of the vehicle striking Glass multiple times.

As Glass was dying from the gunshot wounds, he began to stab himself with the knife he was holding. As he bled out, Glass dropped the knife and police smashed the window, unlocked the driver’s door and dragged his limp body out of the car.

Police dragging Christian's corpse out of the vehicle after murdering him.

In a terse, lying police statement issued on July 11, the police claimed that Glass was “argumentative and uncooperative” and that he had “armed himself with a knife.” The statement said nothing about Glass’s multiple attempts to disarm himself. The statement also claimed that the deputy who shot Glass would be put on administrative leave until the end of the investigation.

However, in a press conference on Tuesday, Mohamedbhai and Rathod revealed that, within days of murdering Christian, Deputy Buen was back out on the streets, facing no charges or punishment.

Rathod also revealed during the conference that Clear Creek Officer Gould muted his body camera during the initial police investigation of the shooting. Rathod surmised, based on police radio traffic, that Gould was the watch commander, and it appears he was one of the officers who gave the command to breach the window of Glass’s car even after police established that there was no reason for them to continue to be on scene.

Rathod said that after the shooting, Gould arrived on the scene to conduct his “investigation.” Before Gould began to question two police officers who witnessed the shooting but did not have body cameras, Gould, like eight Akron police officers who murdered Jayland Walker, went “blue” and turned off the audio recording capability on his camera.

Mohamedbhai and Rathod estimated that Gould silenced over 24 minutes worth of audio during his initial investigation while talking with police.

The brutal murder of Glass exposes the fact that the police are the front-line soldiers of capital, not “defenders of the community” or neutral guardians who should be looked upon by workers to provide help in times of need. They are not given billions of dollars and military-grade weaponry from the Democratic and Republican parties alike to provide mental health services or safety but to eliminate anyone or anything that impedes profit accumulation or threatens capitalist rule.

Glass’s murder also exposes the racialist lie advanced by the Democratic Party that police killings in the US are the result of racism. White males like Glass constitute the largest share of the victims of police killings every year.

The fact that more than three months after the fact there have yet to be any charges much less arrests of the police involved in Glass’ death tragically confirms that the police are given extreme leeway to operate ruthlessly and violently in suppressing the working class.

As Sally Glass noted in Tuesday’s press conference, the police “escalate at every opportunity, it’s like they are spoiling for fight. No other industrialized nation comes even close to the amount of police killings that happen in this country.”

“They carry guns, and they are licensed to kill with impunity and, in large part, with no accountability,” she added.

The latest statistics from Mapping Police Violence show that as of September 12, 2022, 828 people have been killed by cops in the United States this year. This is 22 more people compared to this same time last year.