Updated Wednesday, September 21 at 6:45 a.m.
A group of about 30 community members called for justice in the shooting of 22-year-old Christian Glass during a candlelight vigil held Tuesday night in Idaho Springs.
Glass called 911 for help in June after his car got stuck on a dirt road near Silver Plume. What followed was a tense encounter with police that ended with Deputy Andrew Buen fatally shooting him.
“He was just a joy. He was just a freaking happy kid,” his mother, Sally Glass, told the crowd. “We’re all just devastated that it got extinguished. He was so young. This is a devastating tragedy and it shouldn’t have happened.”
Sally Glass and her daughters, Katie and Anna, attended the vigil. She spoke how her son wanted to be an artist. Simon, Christian’s father, was unable to attend because he’s overseas.
Glass’ parents say they plan to sue the agencies involved in their son’s death.
The vigil's organizers called the shooting "inhumane and unnecessary,” and they asked leaders to address police brutality in the county and the state. The Citizen's Park gathering began at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and lasted a little more than an hour.
Christian Glass was remembered as a mature, creative and always “on-the-go”
Glass, a Boulder resident, was very active in a men’s group called HeyMan! Boulder Open Men’s Circle, a growth-oriented wellness group where he was the youngest member.
Zigy Kaouzny and others from the group made the trip from Boulder to Idaho Springs. Kaouzny said he admired Glass for his courage at such a young age.
“He was an inspiration. He was a boy who brought sweetness to the group,” Kaouzny said.
Community members expressed their frustration with law enforcement in Idaho Springs and Clear Creek County.
Lisa Stemm, a Clear Creek County resident and mother, said the same incident could have happened to her son. She called on the Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Aubers and District Attorney Heidi McCollum to act.
“They have had zero accountability. Something must be done. We can no longer be quiet as a community,” Stemm said. “Our community deserves better. Our children deserve better. We need to demand justice for Christian Glass and, as a community, we need to ensure that this never ever, ever happens again.”
More coverage of the Clear Creek County deputies' shooting
- After getting stuck on a dirt road in Clear Creek County in June, Christian Glass called 911 for help. Instead, the 22-year-old was killed while locked inside his own car after a long, tense, confusing and chaotic confrontation.
- The parents of Christian Glass that the fact the deputy who killed their son is back on the streets without any consequence is a stain on Colorado and a threat to everyone in the state.
- A Clear Creek undersheriff said the deputy who fatally shot Christian Glass was afraid he was going to stab a law enforcement officer out of the broken car window. Gov. Jared Polis has condemned the killing.
- PHOTOS: Christian Glass's family and about 30 community members gathered for a candlelight vigil in Idaho Springs.
- The New Zealand and British governments are asking for answers in the Clear Creek County investigation into the killing.
- The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office will develop a crisis response team, groups that are specially trained to help assist people who may be having mental health problems.
Cynthia Flageolle's father, Michael Clark, was badly injured last year during an altercation with Idaho Springs police. Clark was accused of punching a neighbor at his apartment building. The responding officers used a taser on Clark, who was 75-year-old at the time, and knocked him unconscious.
Former Idaho Springs officer Nicholas Hanning was sentenced to probation for his role in the incident. Flageolle said her father hasn’t been the same since.
“I would love to tell you that they have improved and we've seen improvement, but this incident is evidence that they have done no improvements,” Flageolle said. “I didn't know Christian personally. But from what I heard, he was amazing and he definitely should still be here. And I will continue to push for change for him and my dad and all the victims that have been up here.”
Autumn Brooks, who helped organize the vigil, said they are planning to hold a peaceful demonstration at the Clear Creek Sheriff’s office.
“Violence is not going to help the pace [for change]. It’s not going to help Christian,” Brooks said. “It’s not what he wanted.”
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