Prosecutors have declined to file criminal charges against three Los Angeles police officers who shot and killed an unarmed man at the end of a televised pursuit in 2013.
A Jan. 29 letter from Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, released Monday, states there was "insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Officers Armando Corral, Leonardo Ortiz and Michael Ayala "did not act in self-defense and in the defense of others" when they fatally shot Brian Beaird, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran.
Beaird led police on a dangerous pursuit across southeast L.A. County and downtown L.A. the night of Dec. 13, 2013, weaving his Corvette in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed. The pursuit ended when he crashed his sports car into another vehicle in downtown L.A., shearing a fire hydrant and sending water spraying into the air.
Beaird was shot more than a dozen times after he staggered out of his car. His 80-year-old father said he watched the chase live on television, including the moment when his son was killed.
Late last year, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck determined the officers violated department rules in the shooting, rejecting their claims that they had opened fire because they felt their lives were in danger.
Beck must now decide what punishment to give the officers. An LAPD spokesman said Monday that they have been relieved of duty, without pay, pending disciplinary action.
In August, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $5-million settlement with Beaird's family, marking the largest payout the city had made in a police shooting case in at least a decade.
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