Two US police deputies involved in the killing of a New Zealander who had called police for help have lost their jobs.
Twenty-two-year-old Christian Glass was fatally shot through the windshield of his car after he ran off the road near Silver Plume, Colorado, and called police during what some suspect was a mental health crisis.
Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould lost their jobs after being indicted by a grand jury over the killing.
Glass, originally from Christchurch, moved to the US with his parents aged 10.
Chief Judge of the 5th Judicial District, Paul Dunkelman, sealed the indictment today and issued arrest warrants for Buen and Gould.
Buen has been charged with second degree murder, official misconduct, and reckless endangerment. Gould has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. The court set bond in the amount of $50,000 for Buen, and $2500 for Gould.
The next court dates for both men are expected to be in mid-December.
Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office called the decision to fire the officers a “painful but necessary process”.
“While the criminal investigation was taking place, Sheriff Rick Albers requested, and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office accepted, the offer to conduct an internal investigation to ensure transparency and accountability,” a statement said.
“While an investigation is still underway, preliminary findings show there were policy and procedural failures and the initial news release about the shooting, based on information available at the time of the incident, does not reflect the entirety of what happened.”
That news release claimed Glass had been “argumentative and uncooperative” and that he had tried to stab an officer when police smashed a window to remove him from his car.
After unsuccessful attempts to get him to leave his vehicle, Glass, who appeared anxious, was tasered and shot five times.
Attorneys Rathod and Mohamedbhai, representing parents Simon and Sally Glass, said the family were relieved appropriate charges had been brought against some of those responsible.
“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,” a statement said.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz