LAPD chief: Police wrong to shoot man after chase
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three Los Angeles police officers violated use of force rules when they fatally shot an unarmed, disabled man on live television after a high-speed chase last year, the police chief said.
Evidence did not support the officers’ claims that 51-year-old Brian Beaird posed a deadly threat or that they feared for their lives, Chief Charlie Beck wrote in a report cited by the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1FOO7yU) in a story Thursday.
Beck must now decide what punishment, if any, to give the officers who have been relieved of duty since the December 2013 shooting. They could face suspensions or firing, or Beck could simply order them to receive further training, the Times said.
Larry Hanna, an attorney representing the three officers, told the Times he hoped Beck would be fair when making his decision on discipline and only order the officers to be retrained.
The City Council in August voted to pay $5 million to the family of Beaird to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.
Beaird, a National Guard veteran, led authorities on a nearly hour-long chase in a Corvette after they tried to stop him for reckless driving.
Beaird ran red lights and stop signs before hitting a car in a downtown intersection and seriously injuring the other driver. The Corvette then spun out onto a sidewalk.
Beaird’s father, Billy Beaird, and others watched on television as Brian Beaird staggered out of the car, briefly raised his hands and was shot 15 times. The three bullets that most likely killed Beaird struck him from behind, the report said.
Beaird had emotional problems following brain surgery and the death of six close friends in a military helicopter crash, and was paranoid at the time of the chase, family attorney Dale K. Galipo said in August.
A toxicology test determined Beaird had methamphetamine and traces of other narcotics in his system, the report said.
After reviewing Beck’s report, the civilian commission that oversees the department voted unanimously to accept his findings.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com