LAPD car chase shooting: Victim's relatives file claim, 1st step in a lawsuit (Update)

LAPD Car Chase Shooting Brian Newt Beaird

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

A photo of Brian Newt Beaird during his days in the Army. He was fatally shot by the LAPD at the end of a car chase.

NBCLA

A screencap from video on NBC-LA of the deadly high-speed chase on Dec. 13, 2013, that resulted in an officer-involved shooting and the death of Brian Newt Beaird, 51.


UPDATE 1:34 p.m.: Relatives describe man shot by LAPD as paranoid about police

The family of a man who was shot and killed last week by Los Angeles police after a car chase has filed a claim asking for more than $20 million in damages, the first step in what will likely be a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Three LAPD officers fired between 15 and 20 rounds at Brian Newt Beaird, 51, at the end of a police chase Dec. 13, according to Chief Charlie Beck. The hour-long pursuit through South Los Angeles ended in downtown L.A. when Beaird crashed a silver-colored Corvette into another vehicle, according to police. Two people in the other vehicle were hurt.

News helicopters recorded the shooting on video. No weapon was recovered.

“I just can’t seem to get over this,” said Bill Beaird. The 80-year old father said he served 37 years in the military. Nothing he saw in the service has affected him like watching his son Brian Beaird fall to the ground on live television.

He called his father and an older brother during the chase and said he didn’t know why police were after him. The father asked him to just pull over.

“He said he was going to do it, but he didn’t’ do it,” Bill Beaird said. “He had some kind of, I don’t know, problem with police.”

Relatives say Brian Beaird developed some paranoia with the police after having surgery for a brain tumor. They said he served in the Army, was discharged and was active with the Army National Guard.

“He had some ongoing disability as a result of the tumor and operation,” said the family’s attorney Dale Galipo. The family also said a helicopter crash in which several of Brian Beaird’s military friends died also affected him.

Brian Beaird was the youngest of four brothers. He was not married and had no children. He lived almost his entire life with his father because of his medical problems. When Veteran Affairs decided Brian Beaird could manage on his own, he moved to Oceanside, his father said.

“He was a wonderful son,” Bill Beaird said.

The oldest brother John Beaird described him as impulsive. Brian Beaird bought a house and the Corvette he drove during the chase on a whim.

“My brother made a lot of bad decisions that day,” John Beaird said. “But the decisions of those officers were pale in comparison to what my brother did. I can only imagine how terrified and lonely he was the last moments of his life.”

In response to a call from KPCC Friday, the city attorney's office said it had no comment.

On Thursday, LAPD police chief Charlie Beck said he was "very concerned" about the shooting and sent the three officers involved home, pending a full investigation. The officers may face more training and/or possible discipline, Beck said.

Galipo, called the shooting "unjustified" and said Beaird "posed no immediate threat to life of any officer or individual."

He applauded Beck’s decision to put the three officers on leave and said the LAPD has been cooperative and responsive to the family’s requests. Galipo said he hopes to settle the claim with the city but is willing to file an official lawsuit in 45 days if no movement is made.

“Police officers, with respect to the use of deadly force, have to justify every shot,” Galipo said. He called on the L.A. County District Attorney to investigate possible criminal charges against the firing officers.

An autopsy to determine the official cause of death has not been completed. 

PREVIOUSLY: LAPD car chase shooting: Relatives of victim file claim, 1st step in a lawsuit

The family of a man who was shot and killed last week by Los Angeles police after a car chase has filed a claim asking for more than $20 million in damages, the first step in what will likely be a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Three LAPD officers fired between 15 and 20 rounds at Brian Newt Beaird, 51, at the end of a police chase Dec. 13, according to Chief Charlie Beck. The hour-long pursuit through South Los Angeles ended in downtown L.A. when Beaird crashed a silver-colored Corvette into another vehicle, according to police. Two people in the other vehicle were hurt.

News helicopters recorded the shooting on video. No weapon was recovered.

On Thursday, LAPD police chief Charlie Beck said he was "very concerned" about the shooting and sent the three officers involved home, pending a full investigation. The officers may face more training and/or possible discipline, Beck said.

The family's attorney, Dale Galipo, called the shooting "unjustified" and said in a news release that Beaird​ "posed no immediate threat to life of any officer or individual."

A news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday during which the family is expected to speak about watching the car chase and shooting on live television. KPCC will update this story following that news conference.

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