GEORGETOWN, Colo. — Six additional law enforcement officers now face charges of failure to intervene in the June 2022 death of Christian Glass in Silver Plume.
"Had any one of these six officers stepped up to do the right thing, Christian would be alive today," the attorneys for Christian's parents said in a news release Friday, adding they commended the district attorney for bringing criminal charges.
The Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced the new charges on Friday morning. They were filed against:
- Georgetown Marshal Randy Williams - Charged with duty to intervene and third-degree assault
- Georgetown Police Officer Timothy Collins - Charged with duty to intervene
- Idaho Springs Police Officer Brittany Morrow - Charged with duty to intervene
- Colorado State Trooper Ryan Bennie - Charged with duty to intervene
- Division of Gaming Officer Christa Lloyd - Charged with duty to intervene
- Division of Gaming Officer Mary J. Harris - Charged with duty to intervene
The duty to intervene charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
"The additional charges announced today are especially significant because they recognize that Deputy Buen and Sergeant Gould did not act alone. Each of the six officers charged today had ample opportunity to stop the unjustified and senseless use of force against Christian Glass. They took part in and enabled a plan to use criminal and unlawful force against Christian," the attorneys said on behalf of Christian's parents Friday.
Just before midnight on June 10, 2022, Glass, who was 22 years old at the time, called 911 for help after his car became stuck in an embankment near Silver Plume. He told the dispatcher he had two rock knives, a hammer and a mallet with him, which attorneys said was for his amateur geological work. At the time, he was on his way back from a trip to Moab. Seven agencies responded to the scene and for about an hour, they tried to persuade Glass to exit the car. Glass offered to throw the knives out of the car, but then-deputy Andrew Buen told him not to. After Glass said he was afraid and wanted to stay inside the car, Buen said that Glass would be removed with force. That call was authorized by then-deputy Kyle Gould.
Buen then broke the front passenger-side window, and shot six beanbag rounds at Glass. Buen and Georgetown police Marshal Randy Williams used Tasers on Glass, who screamed. A grand jury indictment released in November 2022 shows Glass swung his rock knife "in various directions in a state of complete panic and self defense.” When Williams tried to open the door and Glass swung the knife in his direction, Buen shot Glass five times. He died at the scene shortly after midnight on June 11, 2022.
Glass' parents said their son was having a mental health crisis that day, adding the 72-page internal affairs report on the incident, which was released in January 2023, vindicated their belief that the deputy who killed their son acted improperly and violated protocol.
The new charges announced Friday came one day after former Clear Creek County Sheriff Deputy Kyle Gould pleaded guilty to ignoring his duty to report use of force and intervene. Gould was sentenced to two years probation and a $1,000 fine. As part of the plea, he is barred from working in any law enforcement or security position in Colorado after agreeing to withdraw his state-mandated POST certification.
The criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment charges were dropped against Gould as part of the plea.
"It’s something we’ve been asking for and pushing for because those six officers didn’t pull the trigger, but they had an absolute duty and responsibility to stop that rogue cop," said Christian's mother, Sally Glass, during a news conference Friday afternoon. "Every one of them should have said, ‘Stop!’ and they all had a duty to do that. It's not hat they didn't do anything wrong; that's the point — they didn't do anything, and they should have done (something)."
On Nov. 2, Buen pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct. He is set to appear for a motions hearing on Dec. 18.
The district attorney's office said the six law enforcement officers who are newly charged in the case will appear in court on Dec. 20.
Colonel Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, issued a statement on Friday morning. He said Trooper Bennie, who has been with CSP for four years, has been reassigned to an administrative position.
Packard's statement reads:
Today, the Office of the 5th Judicial District Attorney's charged Trooper Ryan Bennie with Failure to Intervene, a misdemeanor, for his involvement at the scene of the Christian Glass shooting. Christian Glass should still be alive. This incident was a tragedy, and those responsible for his death should be held accountable as an important first step in regaining the public’s trust.
As the Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, I have had the opportunity to review at length the events that led to the killing of Christian Glass. In my review, I found no indication that Trooper Bennie violated any Colorado State Patrol policy or training. I am shocked by the decision of the District Attorney to pursue charges against Trooper Bennie.
"It's been less than 24 hours and they’ve issued a statement saying that their officers did nothing wrong," said Simon Glass, the 22-year-old man's father. "Christian’s not here, he’s dead. It’s obvious what they did wrong. It’s disgusting."
Earlier this year, Christian's parents won a $19 million civil rights settlement with the involved law enforcement agencies. In the agreement, the agencies committed to making significant improvements to officer training and establishing a Crisis Response Team.