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Family files claim against city in fatal shooting of pursuit suspect

A week after LAPD officers fatally shot a man following a pursuit, his family filed a $20-million claim against LA.
December 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
One week after LAPD officers shot and killed a man following a pursuit, his family filed a $20-million claim against the city, and wants the officers prosecuted. The claim is the first step in filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.

Bill Beaird watched the pursuit live at his home in Fresno last Friday and saw the violent collision and the shooting that followed. It was his youngest son, Brian, who jumped out of a Corvette and was shot by police officers.

"I know that Brian didn't have any weapons or anything like that and he was standing out there with his hands like this, and I seen him fall to the ground, and the TV guy said they Tasered him," said Bill Beaird at a news conference Friday. "Well I though that's what it was, but they had killed him."

Bill said before the crash, Brian called him and his other son to tell them the police were chasing him. The family says Brian suffered from paranoia and that he was especially afraid of the police. His father and brother told Brian to pull over.

"He said he was going to do it but he didn't do it," said Bill Beaird. "He had some kind of, I don't know, problem with the police. I don't know why he did, but he did. So, I don't know what to say. I thought it was my son, but I wasn't 100 percent sure."

"And even though his decisions were bad, the decisions of those officers pale in comparison to what my brother did, and I can only imagine how terrified and alone he was the last moments of his life," said John Beaird, Brian's brother.

The Beairds say Brian was discharged from the National Guard and put on a disability pension following the removal of a brain tumor 25 years ago. They say that's when his mental health issues began.

The LAPD wouldn't comment on Friday's filing by Beaird's family.

"I reserve judgment," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Monday. "I've been doing this a long time and you have to know what's in the minds of the officers, you have to know what they know."

In a statement released Thursday, Beck said that after receiving a preliminary briefing on the shooting, he has concerns about the circumstances that led up to it.

"Because of those concerns I have directed that the three involved officers be assigned home pending the final results of the investigation. Determinations regarding training or possible disciplining of the involved officers will be made at that time," Beck said in the statement.

The city has 45 days to respond to the claim. After that, lawyers for the family say they will file a wrongful death suit. They're hoping to have this settled before that happens.


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