Family files $20 million claim in shooting death of chase suspect by LA police
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The family of an unarmed man shot dead by Los Angeles police after a car chase filed a $20 million claim with the city on Friday, and the man's 80-year-old father described to reporters his reaction to seeing the shooting live on a TV newscast.
The filing of the claim came a day after Police Chief Charlie Beck said he was "concerned about the circumstances that led up to and resulted" in the December 13 shooting, and he put the three officers involved on leave until an investigation is done.
The car chase began when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies tried to pull over the driver of a Chevrolet Corvette for reckless driving, police said in a statement.
Los Angeles police officers took over the chase from the deputies, and it ended when the driver crashed into another car at a downtown intersection, exited his vehicle and was shot, the statement said. No weapon was found on him, police said.
The driver was later identified as Brian Beaird, 51.
Brian Beaird was a veteran of the National Guard who was disabled and had paranoia from the aftermath of a brain tumor, his family's attorney, Dale Galipo, told reporters. Galipo said he filed a $20 million claim against the city on Friday over the shooting death, which he called unjustified.
The chase and shooting were broadcast live on local television from the vantage point of a news helicopter.
Bill Beaird of Fresno, California, told reporters he saw police shoot his son live on television.
"I've seen a lot, but nothing affected me like this, I just can't seem to get over that," he said.
Under California law, a claim seeking redress must be submitted before bringing a lawsuit against a municipality. Galipo said that if he does not win a settlement for the family, he will file a federal lawsuit against the city.
An independent review of the shooting death will be conducted by the city's Board of Police Commissioners to determine if it fell within the department's policy on the use of force, police said. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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