A father who saw his unarmed son killed by Los Angeles police on live television has filed a $20 million claim with the city.
Bill Beaird, 80, wept Friday as he described watching the Dec. 13 shooting.
Beaird says his son, Brian, called to say his Corvette was being chased by police but he'd done nothing wrong. The father says he advised his son to stop.
Beaird says he watched as the Corvette hit a car and spun onto a downtown sidewalk, the driver got out, raised his hands and was shot.
“I’ve seen a lot, but nothing has affected me like this,” Bill Beaird said. “I just can’t seem to get over this.”
Preliminary reports indicate the unarmed man was shot more than 20 times.
Police Chief Charlie Beck says he's concerned about the shooting and has placed three officers on leave pending investigation.
Brian Beaird, a National Guard veteran of eight years, swerved and sped through South Los Angeles in a Corvette for more than an hour before T-boning another car in an intersection. The passengers in the other car were injured and will survive.
Attorney Dale K. Galipo said the family hopes a settlement will be reached within the next 45 days, but if not, a federal lawsuit could follow.
“The shooting is completely unjustified,” Galipo said. “And we are hoping that there is some discipline for these officers.”
Galipo said that Brian Beaird was deeply affected when a helicopter crash killed his friends while he was serving in the National Guard. Brian Beaird then underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, his family said.
Brian Beaird began to grow paranoid following the surgery.
“He was simply afraid and paranoid of the police even though he had never been convicted of a felony,” Galipo said.
A lifelong friend said Brian Beaird was schizophrenic and questioned the use of lethal force.
The pursuit began in Cudahy at 9:30 p.m., when deputies attempted to pull the driver over for drunk and reckless driving, officials said.
Brian’s brother, John Beaird, said that even though his brother showed poor judgment the day he was killed, the judgment of the officers involved was even worse.
“My brother made a lot of bad decisions that day,” John Beaird said. “I can only imagine how terrified and alone he was in the last moments of his life.”