LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a disabled veteran who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police after a pursuit.
The family of 51-year-old Brian Beaird filed a wrongful death lawsuit in May, seeking $20 million in damages. Beaird was shot and killed by Los Angeles police last Dec. 13 at the end of an hour-long car chase that was broadcast on TV.
According to the family’s attorney, Beaird watched live as police shot his son.
The council voted 12-2 in closed session to approve the $5 million settlement, with Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander dissenting. Councilman Bernard Parks was absent.
“It’s very unfortunate on everyone’s part, on the driver’s part, and the officers involved,” said Buscaino, a former Los Angeles police officer. “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.”
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, video footage shows Beaird, “who is clearly unarmed, being shot as he is stumbling away from a swarm of police vehicles.”
Live television broadcasts showed the Corvette running 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 car’s tires spun and smoked, the driver exited the Corvette. He was then shot, and collapsed on his back on a sidewalk.
The Oceanside man — a 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.
No weapon was recovered at the scene of the shooting, according to police.
Beaird had recently bought the Corvette, according to his brother. During the chase, he called his family and said he couldn’t understand why he was being pursued, his brother said, but efforts to get him to pull over were unsuccessful.
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