Prosecutors have declined to file criminal charges against the three Los Angeles police officers who shot and killed an unarmed man at the end of a high-speed pursuit that was broadcast on live television.
The decision came after LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's finding last year that the officers violated department policy for using deadly force when they shot Brian Beaird, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran, on the night of Dec. 13, 2013.
Before the department's investigation was complete, the city agreed to pay Beaird's family $5 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit — the largest payout Los Angeles has made in a fatal police shooting case in at least a decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.
But in a Jan. 29 letter outlining the decision not to file charges, prosecutors cited a "tense and chaotic" situation in which officers thought Beaird was reaching for a weapon.
Prosecutors ultimately determined that there was "insufficient evidence to provide beyond a reasonable doubt" that the three officers "did not act in self-defense and in defense of others."
"Officers had reason to believe Beaird might be a danger," prosecutors wrote.