Two former Los Angeles police officers who fatally shot an unarmed motorist from behind, on live TV, were fired and now are suing to get their jobs back.
Michael Ayala and Leonardo Ortiz were among about two dozen officers who pulled up behind 51-year-old Brian Beaird’s mangled Corvette after he crashed in downtown Los Angeles in 2013, ending a long, high-speed pursuit.
As TV news helicopters circled overhead and water from a damaged fire hydrant rained down, adding to the chaos of the scene, Beaird stumbled around the back of his car, turned away from officers and appeared to be trying to flee on foot.
That’s when Ayala, Ortiz and a third officer opened fire, killing Beaird.
A police disciplinary board found Ayala and Ortiz guilty of “misconduct” in July, and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck fired them in September, according to lawsuits the officers filed in November. Both called their firing an “abuse of discretion” by the department, the Los Angeles Times reports.