In 2013, a high speed police chase in downtown Los Angeles involving a silver C6 Corvette driven by 51-year-old Brian Beaird ended in a crash, with Beard first attempting to drive the wrecked car away, then exiting the vehicle unarmed, where he was fatally shot by police. The entire incident was broadcast on live TV, and spurred national debate about police use-of-force.
Subsequently, LAPD officers Michael Ayala and Leonardo Ortiz, who were part of the dozens of officers present at the scene, were found guilty of misconduct by a police disciplinary board and fired by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who called the shooting “unjustified.” Trying to stay ahead of the anticipated civil suit in Beaird’s death, the LA City Council approved a $5 million settlement with Beaird’s father, reputedly the largest settlement paid by the city in a police shooting for more than 10 years.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey decided against filing criminal charges against the officers, citing the believe that it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers didn’t believe there was a direct threat to them or others.
This week, the Los Angeles Times reports that Ayala and Ortiz have filed lawsuits to get their jobs back, with attorney Michael Stone saying Chief Beck’s firing was an “abuse of discretion.” Per the Times, neither suit mentions the shooting as the reason for their firing.