Family of high-speed pursuit suspect killed by cop to get $5M
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by family members of a disabled veteran from Oceanside who was fatally shot by police after leading them on a chase in his recently purchased Corvette.
The family of 51-year-old Brian Beaird filed a wrongful death suit in May, seeking $20 million in damages.
Beaird was shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers last Dec. 13 at the end of an hourlong televised chase. The man’s father watched the live broadcast of police shooting his son, according to the family’s attorney.
The council voted 12-2 in closed session to approve the $5 million settlement.
“It’s very unfortunate on everyone’s part, on the driver’s part, and the officers involved,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former Los Angeles police officer who cast one of the dissenting votes.
“In this case, you had a pursuit that lasted a long time, involved three agencies, and I felt that there’s an opportunity to proceed and challenge the case,” he said.
An attorney for Beaird’s family was not immediately available for comment.
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, the video footage shows Beaird, “who is clearly unarmed, being shot as he is stumbling away from a swarm of police vehicles.”
Beaird was shot by police as he got out of the silver Corvette, which was badly damaged, smoking and wedged between poles on a sidewalk after crashing into another vehicle at the end of the chase.
The National Guard veteran died at a hospital about 45 minutes after the chase ended near the intersection of East Olympic Boulevard and South Los Angeles Street.
Live television broadcasts showed the Corvette running numerous red lights and stop signs, and weaving as it sped through neighborhoods and commercial districts between Cudahy, southeast of Los Angeles, and the area near the Staples Center.
Just after 10:30 p.m., the Corvette smashed into a Nissan Maxima. As the sports car’s tires spun and smoked, the driver exited the Corvette and was shot, collapsing on his back on a sidewalk.
No weapon was recovered at the scene of the shooting, according to police.
Beaird, who had recently bought the Corvette, called his family during the chase and said he couldn’t understand why he was being pursued, according to his brother, but efforts to get him to pull over were unsuccessful.