L.A.’s Beck Faces Tough Decision On Officers Who Killed Unarmed Man


Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck must strike a difficult balance in deciding how to discipline three officers who violated department policies when they shot and killed an unarmed man after a pursuit last year, reports the Los Angeles Times. Saying he has “great sympathy for how difficult” shooting situations are when officers must make split-second decisions to fire, often amid chaos, Beck emphasized that he “cannot let that sympathy influence my decisions. The public trust is that important to me.”

Beck was asked about his findings in the 2013 death of Brian Beaird, 51, who was shot 15 times after he led police on a high-speed chase. After an extensive investigation, Beck concluded the three officers were unjustified in their use of deadly force and that their claims that they feared Beaird posed a deadly threat were unreasonable. Citing state privacy laws, Beck declined to say whether he planned to suspend the officers, move for them to be fired, or simply order them to undergo training. Beaird's killing drew national attention after local news stations televised the encounter live.

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