Christian Glass' parents lash out at US police as judge rules officers who shot him dead will stand trial

Christian Glass's parents are hitting out at the US police force after the officers who shot their son dead tried and failed to have the case against them thrown out. 

Christian was born in Christchurch but moved with his family to the US when he was 10. In June last year, he called for roadside assistance when his car got stuck. Officers arrived at the scene and tasered him before shooting him dead when he did not get out of the car. 

In November a grand jury indicted former deputies Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould. Now a judge has denied their bids to have the case dismissed, ruling there is enough evidence to support the charges. 

Glass' parents Sally and Simon told AM on Friday it's a relief the officers will now face trial. 

"It actually was a big relief because this has taken a really long time and there have been enough twists and turns that we've always wondered what will happen in the end," Simon said.

Sally said right from the beginning they were warned bringing a case against the police is incredibly difficult. 

"We were told right from the outset by our lawyers it is incredibly, incredibly difficult to prosecute police. They get carte blanche. They've had implied immunity. They have literally in the past gotten away with murder. They get different treatment than the general public. So to get police to stand a criminal trial is very difficult and challenging," she said. 

Sally also lashed out at the United States police force, saying after Christian died she initially wanted to trust the police, but couldn't believe her son had attacked them as they claimed. 

"When they say your son attacked... but Christian has never... there was no aggressive bone in his body. He's got two sisters, he never even so much as given one of them a shove. He's just not a physically aggressive person in any way. 

"So when someone says your son attacked someone we were like, 'But why on earth would you do that'? You know? 

"You do want to believe the police, but the police in America particularly, you can't honestly believe them. I mean they've done bad stuff a lot. So you don't give them carte blanche. They're not all a bunch of honest, nice, decent people, they're just not. Some are and some are not," she said. 

Christian Glass
Christian Glass Photo credit: Supplied.

Sally said her son was disgusted with events around the death of George Floyd. 

"He just couldn't believe that a human could do that to another human. Very, very strong sense of justice. And then he went the same way as George Floyd."

On Thursday (NZ Time) Fifth Judicial District Judge Catherine Cheroutes ruled there is enough evidence to support the officers' indictment. 

Buen faces charges of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and official misconduct. While Gould faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. 

Judge Cheroutes ruled there was enough evidence to show Buen "intentionally and maliciously caused harm to Mr. Glass by shooting and killing him, which exceeded the authority of his official function as a Deputy Sheriff."

"The malicious intent can be inferred from the aggressive demeanour and the ultimate action of the Defendant shooting Mr. Glass as seen in the bodycam footage," she said.

Cheroutes also upheld the indictment against Gould and found there was enough evidence he "consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that Mr. Glass would be injured or killed if he were extracted from his vehicle and that as the supervisor who both authorised the extraction and was monitoring the situation, he engaged in conduct which created the risk of serious bodily injury to Mr. Glass."

The officers will appear in court on Monday (local time).