The L.A. Times is reporting that three officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were placed on administrative leave with pay Friday after firing 22 shots at an unarmed, disabled Army veteran following a high-speed chase on Dec. 13. The shooting was broadcast on live television by local news helicopters that were following the Corvette driven by 51-year-old Brian Beaird during an hour-long chase.
Beaird was shot and killed by the LAPD officers after the chase concluded when Beaird crashed into another car at an intersection and had exited his vehicle with his hands raised. Approximately 20 officers surrounded Beaird when he got out of the car and stumbled around to a sidewalk on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Beaird's father witnessed the shooting on live television. The elder Beaird said his son had called to say that police were chasing him, and that he urged his son to pull over, but that his son continued to flee due to his fear of police.
"He was simply afraid and paranoid of the police, even though he has never been convicted of any felonies," Dale Galipo, the family's attorney told the Times, "and that paranoia of the police is one of the reasons why he didn't pull over."
According to the Times' report, Galipo said the shooting was excessive.
"Police officers with respect to deadly force have to justify every shot," Galipo said. "Usually the story involves he was reaching in his waistband, he had a gun, he had something that looked like a gun. But the problem in this case, none of those stories will work because every step, everybody saw actually what happened on video."
Bill Beaird, also an Army veteran, told the Times his son joined the military because he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. Beaird also said his son "would have made a career out of it had it not been for [a] botched brain surgery," according to the Times.
John Beaird, Brian's older brother said his younger sibling "made a lot of bad decisions that day" but the officers had no reason to shoot him.
"I can only imagine how terrified and alone he was in the last moments of his life," he said.
According to the Times, Bill and John Beaird stood together outside LAPD headquarters yesterday to announce that they had filed a $20-million wrongful-death claim against the city of Los Angeles. Galipo said that if the city doesn't agree to settle the case, the family would pursue a federal lawsuit.
LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Police Commission earlier this week that there have been 43 officer-involved shootings to date in 2013, compared with 36 for the same period in 2012.
Edited 12:40 a.m. Dec. 22, 2013