The Los Angeles City Council has approved a $5-million settlement with the family of an unarmed National Guard veteran killed on live television in a barrage of gunfire at the end of a wild pursuit last year in downtown L.A., the Los Angeles Times reports. The proposed payout is the largest settlement the city has made in a fatal police shooting case in at least a decade and comes after Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck raised concerns about the officers’ tactics.
Brian Newt Beaird, 51, led police on a dangerous pursuit on Dec. 13, weaving in and out of traffic in his Corvette at a high rate of speed. He was shot after he crashed into another vehicle and staggered out of the sports car. The officers who opened fire have been on paid leave. Councilman Bernard Parks, a former LAPD chief, said that the case was serious enough to warrant such a large payout and that a jury could have awarded far more had the case gone to trial. “This is a case that clearly had significant potential liability far beyond what the settlement offer was,” he said. “It was a good business decision when you have a loss of life and you have evidence that could be viewed as overwhelming against the city of L.A.”