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Clear Creek County settles excessive lawsuit involving now fired deputy

A former Clear Creek County inmate received $15,000 to settle a case involving a deputy charged in the murder of Christian Glass.

GEORGETOWN, Colo — A former Clear Creek County jail inmate was awarded $15,000 in a settlement agreement with the county and several deputies involves in an excessive force case in 2019, according to a settlement agreement obtained by 9NEWS Friday.

One of the deputies named in the lawsuit is Andrew Buen, who was indicted by a grand jury in November for the shooting death of Christian Glass last summer. 

The settlement agreement between Manuel Camacho and Clear Creek County is dated Nov. 16. Camacho represented himself during the case, filing documents from prison where he was being held for an unrelated charge.

>The video above is a prior report about the lawsuit.

The 2019 lawsuit alleges that Buen took inmate Camacho to the ground in the hallway of the jail, where another deputy, Jacob Cordova, held his head on the ground. Buen was fired by the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office in November after his indictment. 

According to Camacho's lawsuit, Cordova handcuffed Camacho in the jail hallway while he was waiting to be transported to court for a hearing on vehicular eluding charges. When Cordova tried to apply leg restraints, Camacho told Cordova he needed a bigger restraint because of some permanent swelling in his left ankle.

In an affidavit filed by Buen, he claimed Camacho had an aggressive and loud tone while speaking to Cordova. He said he asked Camacho if there was going to be a problem. Buen wrote that Camacho made a further aggressive comment and turned toward him “in a manner that I perceived to be threatening,” the affidavit says.

“I was also concerned because this was happening in the presence of another inmate who could potentially join in any attempted assault against me and other deputies,” Buen wrote in the affidavit. He said he chose to take Camacho to the ground “pursuant to his training.”

“The training that I received taught me that it is easier to control an inmate on the ground as opposed to when they are upright,” Buen wrote in the affidavit.

Credit: Clear Creek County Sheriff
Former Clear Creek County deputy Andrew Buen takes inmate Manuel Camacho to the ground in a 2019 incident that prompted an excessive force lawsuit.

Camacho’s lawsuit claims he filed a grievance with the sheriff’s office about the use of force and was interviewed by two detectives in the sheriff’s office.

He claims he told them he didn’t want to file charges but wanted the case to be handled administratively. When he followed up months later, he was informed that the sheriff's office doesn’t disclose the results of administrative actions, according to the lawsuit.

A records request by 9NEWS found no records of disciplinary action on Buen’s record with the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

Buen and another deputy are currently awaiting trial on charges relating to the death of Glass. 

Glass, a Boulder resident, called 911 for help after getting his car stuck on a mountain road in Silver Plume. It was a call that ended his life. 

Credit: Photo courtesy of Glass family
Christian Glass

After a 70-minute police encounter, where officers attempted to get a terrified Glass out of his car, they were unsuccessful. Buen broke Glass's window, shot him with bean bags, used a Taser on him and shot him six times. Glass died in the front seat of his locked car, holding a knife that responding officers said they were afraid he would stab them with.

Buen has since been fired from Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office alongside his supervisor Kyle Gould, who was indicted for criminally negligent homicide in the same case. 

An attorney for Glass' family said the lawsuit filed by Camacho shows a pattern of excessive force in Buen's past.

Credit: Gilpin County Sheriff's Office
Andrew Benjamin Buen

“Mr. Camacho was handcuffed,” Siddhartha Rathod said in December. “He was restrained. When an individual is handcuffed, there is a duty of care by the officers around them.”

“What the video demonstrates and what the settlement demonstrates is that Clear Creek County knew that officer Buen was violent, aggressive and should not have been on the force," he said. "And the end result of their failure to discipline him…their failure to take appropriate action against him was the murder of Christian Glass.”

Send tips about this or any other story to 9NEWS reporter Steve Staeger by e-mailing steve@9news.com.

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