The parents of Christian Glass, a 22-year-old Christchurch-born man who was killed by two US deputies, say they are relieved charges have been laid.
Glass was killed after calling 911 for roadside assistance while experiencing what his mother described as a mental health crisis, according to online court records. A grand jury has now indicted two Colorado sheriff's deputies following his death.
In a statement tonight, Simon and Sally Glass said they are “relieved appropriate charges have been brought against some of those responsible for the murder of their son”.
“However, justice for Christian will require all those involved being held accountable. Christian's death is a stain on every officer who was present and failed to prevent the escalation and unnecessary uses of force.
“Nothing will bring Christian back to his family,” they said.
The Associated Press reported that late on June 10, Glass called the police because his car had become stuck on an embankment. Body camera videos show Glass refusing to get out of his car while telling police he is “terrified” and making heart shapes with his hands to officers.
Officers talked to him to try to persuade him to leave the car. After more than an hour of negotiations, police said Glass was being uncooperative and they broke the passenger window and removed a knife from the vehicle.
Glass offered to throw two knives out of the window but the video shows officers telling him not to.
Once the window was shattered, Glass seemed to panic and grabbed a second knife. Police then shot Glass with bean bag rounds and shocked him with a stun gun. The footage shows Glass twisting in his seat and thrusting a knife toward an officer who approaches the rear driver window. Then another officer fired his gun, hitting Glass six times, according to the autopsy report.
Charges against the two deputies include second-degree murder, official misconduct, and criminally negligent homicide, according to the court records, which did not provide further details.
Hours of distressing body camera footage released by the Glass family's lawyers in September showed police smashing the window of the car when Christian did not heed their demands to get out before officers fired 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.