CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — A new internal affairs investigation says the former Clear Creek County Deputy who shot and killed Christian Glass last summer did not follow the policies or procedures outlined by his department. The report details what investigators call “excessive force,” “mistakes,” and “outright failures” that eventually led to Glass’s death.
The investigation confirms former deputy Andrew Buen should never have shot the 22-year-old as he experienced a mental health emergency in his car last June, per the protocols established by the sheriff's office.
“Deputy Buen was not within Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office policy and procedure when he used deadly physical force against Mr. Glass,” the investigation concludes.
The 72-page report was written by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the department brought in to perform and unbiased investigation of the shooting.
On the night of June 10, Glass called 911 after his car got stuck on a road in Silver Plume. Seven officers from different departments responded.
Tasers and non-lethal weapons were used to try and get Glass out of his car before he was shot several times. While Glass had a knife in the car with him and told officers he was having mental health challenges, the investigation concludes Glass was not in a position to pose an imminent danger to any of the officers when he was killed by Buen.
“Four reasonable officers with direct vantage points of the events… chose not to fire their handguns. For this reason, Deputy Buen using deadly force against Mr. Glass was not consistent with that of a reasonable officer," the report states.
Buen had completed 12 hours of de-escalation training, eight within the last year, but was not trained in crisis intervention or negotiations. The report states that he "failed to use any de-escalation tactics from the onset of the incident.”
It concludes that Christian Glass should never have been removed from his car because he did not commit a crime and his mental state did not require deputies to take him into custody. When the officers and deputies on scene that night were asked in interviews whether it was ever discussed to leave Glass in his car, they responded that it was never put forward as an option.
Buen and his former supervisor Kyle Gould already face charges in the death of Christian Glass. Buen was charged with second-degree murder and two misdemeanors: official misconduct and reckless endangerment.
Gould, who wasn’t on scene at the time of the shooting, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. An indictment says Gould was watching Buen’s encounter with Glass via a body camera's livestream and alleges Gould gave officers on scene that night authorization to break into Glass’ car.
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