28 Oct 2022

Parents welcome decision to let grand jury probe fatal shooting of Christian Glass

11:34 am on 28 October 2022
DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 13: Simon and Sally Glass, the parents of Christian Glass who was killed by a Clear Creek County deputy June 11, speak to the media at their attorneys office on September 13, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Simon and Sally Glass say it is unbelievable the officers involved in their son's death are still on duty. Photo: Getty Images / Denver Post

The parents of a Christchurch-born man fatally shot by US police officers hope the process has begun that will lead to them facing criminal charges.

A US district attorney has asked a grand jury to decide whether charges should be laid in the Christian Glass case.

The 22-year-old was shot five times in his car after calling 911 for help during an apparent mental health crisis near Denver in June.

Christchurch-born Christian Glass was shot dead by US police after calling 911 for roadside assistance when his car got stuck near Denver in Colorado in June 2022 and authorities are now reviewing the case.

Christian Glass was shot dead by police near Denver in June. Photo: Supplied by RM Rathod Mohamedbhai Attorneys at Law

His parents, Simon and Sally Glass, see the grand jury as the first step to a decision to prosecute the officers.

Simon Glass said the handover to a grand jury was "a first step towards some accountability for what was done to Christian."

"So we see it as a positive step ... we hope this will lead to criminal prosecution and eventually accountability for the officers that did this to Christian."

He said it was unbelievable that the officers involved were still on active duty and showed that the police were not taking Christian's killing seriously.

It would also be a matter of concern for other Colorado parents, he told Morning Report.

"Their children go out for a drive and what might happen - it's really quite unbelievable for us."

To this point the police have made no comment on the case apart from a misleading statement the day after the killing along with a commitment to cooperate with the investigation, Sally Glass said.

"The police have no control and no narrative in this now."

Sally Glass said the grand jury would meet several times in November, but the whole process was secret and there would be no indication of what was said and how long they would deliberate.

"We hope by the New Year they will reach a decision. We have no control over this and it's up to the jury involved to take as long as they need to hopefully indict these police officers that were involved."

Simon Glass said they had no idea what was going through Christian's mind on the night of his death that had made him feel so distressed.

Christian had been talkative on the last occasion they spoke with no signs he was troubled.

"He was very much a deep thinker. We miss him so much and it's just so unfair what's happened to Christian. We're really looking for justice and accountability for what happened."

Hours of distressing body camera footage released by the Glass family's lawyers last month showed police smashing the window of the car when Christian did not heed their demands to get out, before officers fire bean bag rounds, taser him and shoot him dead.

In lengthy 911 audio Glass can earlier be heard saying he was stuck in a trap and feared he was going to be killed, prompting the dispatcher to tell police he sounded paranoid.

At the time, the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office said Glass was argumentative and uncooperative and armed with a knife.

The Glass family disputed that version of events, insisting Christian had done nothing wrong and was simply too scared to get out of the car.

Christian Glass was born in Christchurch but his family moved to the US when he was 10.

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