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Gov. Polis establishes Christian Glass Day, apologizes for shooting death

 Sally Glass, front, and her husband, Simon, show a piece of artwork done by their son, Christian
David Zalubowski
/
AP
Sally Glass, front, and her husband, Simon, show a piece of artwork done by their son, Christian, after talking about the $19-million settlement from state and local law enforcement agencies for the killing of the couple's 22-year-old son in June 2022 while he suffered a mental health crisis on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, during a news interview in the offices of the couple's lawyers in Denver. As part of the settlement, training for law officers will change as well.

With grieving parents at his side, Governor Polis proclaimed May 24th as Christian Glass day, in honor of the 22-year-old Boulder resident who was shot and killed by police last summer.

“Whereas Christian was a kind and curious soul with a desire to learn more about his world,” Polis said, reading the proclamation. “Whereas, his peers remember him as a friendly and warm soul, someone who could always light up any room he walked into.”

Glass appeared to be in mental distress when he called 911 because of car trouble on a summer night last June in Idaho Springs. Law enforcement responded and the encounter escalated over the course of an hour while Glass remained in his vehicle. At one point, still inside the car, Glass held a small knife in his hand. Law enforcement broke a window, then fired bean bag rounds, breaking more windows. Finally, a Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Glass.

“On behalf of the state, we want to apologize for what happened to Christian,” Polis said, addressing Sally and Simon Glass. “There have been too many of these kinds of tragedies in our country, but also in our state. And we want to make sure that we can do the best we can to avoid other parents from having to go through what you went through.”

As part of the governor’s tribute, some of Glass’ framed artwork will be displayed in the governor’s office.

“It means so much because we don't want it to be swept under the carpet. We don't want Christian to be forgotten,” his mother, Sally Glass. “We want his memory to live on. And, you know, if he's floating around, he will be so proud, so proud and so happy to have his art displayed in the state Capitol building.”

A display of artwork and family photographs sits on a table after Simon Glass and his wife, Sally, talked about the $19-million settlement from state and local law enforcement agencies for the killing of the couple's 22-year-old son, Christian, in June 2022, while he suffered a mental health crisis on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, during a news interview in the offices of the couple's lawyers in Denver. As part of the settlement, training for law officers will change as well
David Zalubowski
/
AP
A display of artwork and family photographs sits on a table after Simon Glass and his wife, Sally, talked about the $19-million settlement from state and local law enforcement agencies for the killing of the couple's 22-year-old son, Christian, in June 2022, while he suffered a mental health crisis on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, during a news interview in the offices of the couple's lawyers in Denver. As part of the settlement, training for law officers will change as well

The governor’s proclamation follows yesterday's announcement on a settlement deal; the Glass family will receive a $19 million dollar settlement, one of the largest in Colorado history.

As part of the deal, Clear Creek County has agreed to dedicate a public park to Glass and launch a crisis response team. The state will create a new virtual reality de-escalation training that will reflect Glass' murder. Two of the officers involved are facing criminal charges.

As KUNC's Senior Editor and Reporter, my job is to find out what’s important to northern Colorado residents and why. I seek to create a deeper sense of urgency and understanding around these issues through in-depth, character driven daily reporting and series work.
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