Police Shooting of Unarmed Man Unjustified: Lawyer

The man's father witnessed his son getting shot on live television after a pursuit, the man's lawyer says

By Jason Kandel and Robert Kovacik
|  Friday, Dec 20, 2013  |  Updated 10:33 AM PDT
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An attorney and the father of an unarmed disabled veteran fatally shot by police after a televised pursuit called the shooting unjustified and planned to hold a press conference in front of LAPD headquarters on Friday to call attention to the case.

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Attorney Dale K. Galipo and the father of Brian Beaird are expected to talk about the shooting of 51-year-old Brian Newt Beaird. He was was shot and killed by Los Angeles Police Department officers on Friday.

"The fatal shooting of Brian was clearly unjustified, especially because Brian was unarmed at the time of the shooting and posed no immediate threat to the life of any officer or individual," Galipo wrote in a press release. Video, he said, "clearly depicts that Brian was shot in the back when he was walking away from the officers with his hands raised.

"The circumstances of this incident are particularly egregious because Billy Beaird, who shared a markedly close relationship with his son, witnessed the fatal shooting of his son on live television."

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Earlier, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said three officers fired between 15 and 20 bullets, fatally wounding Beaird after a televised police chase in a Chevrolet Corvette.

The officers have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an internal probe into the shooting.

Beck vowed a thorough investigation.

"What is in the officer's mind is what we try to determine," Beck said on KPCC's Airtalk. "They make split-second decisions based on the information that they have at the moment."

Beaird, a National Guard veteran of eight years, swerved and sped through South Los Angeles in a Corvette for more than a hour before T-boning another car in an intersection. The passengers in the other car were injured and are going to survive.

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.

Some 20 officers responded to the scene where Beaird was shot, Beck said, adding that beanbag rounds were deployed.

"But whether or not that had any bearing on whether the officers firing, I don't know at this point," Beck said.

A lifelong friend said Beaird was schizophrenic and questioned the use of lethal force.

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