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Father Says He Saw Son Shot to Death By LA Police on Live TV

ktla_helicopterOne of the people watching the live police chase in Los Angeles more than a week ago that ended with the killing of the suspect on live TV was the victim’s father.

Bill Beaird told The Los Angeles Times his youngest son Brian called him while being chased by police the evening of December 13. He said he told his son to pull over after Brian Beaird said he done nothing wrong.

The chase and subsequent shooting was carried live by Los Angeles CW affiliate KTLA and Fresno FOX affiliate KMPH. The family has filed a $20 million claim against the city of Los Angeles.

Later, Beaird watched live as a KTLA-TV News helicopter showed police chasing the Corvette into downtown L.A. He saw his son’s car T-bone another car before spinning onto the sidewalk. The driver staggered out of the vehicle, briefly raised his hands with his back to the police officers, then grabbed his stomach as he fell to the ground.

“I thought it was my son, but I wasn’t sure,” Bill Beaird said.

Beaird said he was initially confused about what happened to the man — the television reporters said he might have been shot with a Taser, he recalled. But when he tried to reach his son and couldn’t, his family began putting the pieces together.

Brian Beaird, 51, had no weapon, police said. Preliminary information indicated three officers from the LAPD’s Newton Division shot more than 20 times.

An investigation of the shooting is underway. After reviewing a preliminary report about the incident on Thursday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck placed the three officers who opened fire on extended leave pending the final use-of-force investigation.

In announcing his decision to assign the officers to home, Beck said he was troubled by the incident.

“After hearing the preliminary briefing, I am very concerned about the circumstances that led up to and resulted in this officer-involved shooting,” Beck said in a statement.

The names of the officers placed on leave Friday were expected to be released after they were formally notified.

Bill Beaird, an Army veteran, said his son followed in his own footsteps and joined the military. Brian Beaird was discharged from the National Guard in 1988 after undergoing surgery for a brain tumor, his father said.

Bill Beaird said his son was a “disabled veteran” who needed regular medical care. An attorney for the family, Dale Galipo, said that after the surgery Brian Beaird developed some paranoia — including some toward police.

“He was simply afraid and paranoid of the police, even though he has never been convicted of any felonies,” Galipo said. “And that paranoia of the police is one of the reasons why he didn’t pull over.”

Galipo, who has secured multimillion-dollar verdicts in other police shooting cases, said his clients planned to file a federal wrongful death suit should the $20-million claim not be settled. Galipo also said he hoped the district attorney’s office would “strongly consider” criminal charges against the officers involved.

“Usually the story involves, ‘He was reaching in his waistband,’ ‘He had a gun,’ ‘He had something that looked like a gun,’ ” Galipo said. “In this case, none of those stories will work because everybody saw actually what happened on video.”

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