Family claims wrongful death in Long Beach police shooting of mentally disabled man

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The heartbroken family of a mentally disabled man who was fatally shot by Long Beach police is seeking $20 million in a wrongful death claim against the city, arguing that the suspect was not exhibiting violent behavior when he was killed.

Mharloun Saycon was shot and killed by Long Beach police last year after allegedly waving a knife inside a popular arcade.

His grieving family says Saycon was diagnosed bipolar-schizophrenic and was not a threat to the public at the time of his death. They're seeking $20 million in a wrongful death claim filed against the city Thursday.

"Mharloun was a good person. He was my son. He didn't deserve this. [He had] a mental disability. He should not have been killed for that," Saycon's mom, Anna Luz Saycon, said during a press conference.

Authorities were dispatched to Looff's Lite-A-Line Casino Game of Skill in the 2500 block of N. Long Beach Boulevard at 10:08 p.m. on Dec. 14 in response to a report of an armed man inside the business.

The suspect was allegedly waving his knife, prompting customers to flee the arcade in fear, Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson said.

Saycon refused to follow police officers' orders to drop his knife, police said. Long Beach police officers tried to subdue him with a Taser and a baton, but it was ineffective and an officer-involved shooting occurred.

Saycon was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers or customers were injured, and a knife was recovered at the scene.

Joe Sayas, an attorney representing the Saycon family, says Saycon "was not exhibiting any violent or aggressive action and neither was he a threat to anyone at that scene."

The Saycon family plans to file a lawsuit. They want major changes to use-of-force procedures and the officers involved in Saycon's death to be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

"We need to acknowledge that mentally disabled people are human beings as well. So does law enforcement, so does anybody," a member of the Saycon family said.

Eyewitness News spoke with two people who witnessed the shooting at the popular arcade. They did not want to appear on camera, but one of the two witnesses said Saycon was not a threat and that police did not have the right to shoot him. The other witness chose not to comment.

Surveillance footage of the incident was provided to law enforcement, but police did not answer Eyewitness News' questions due to pending litigation. The city attorney's office said it has not seen the claim.
Related Topics:
newsofficer involved shootingmental healthpolice brutalitylawsuitLong BeachLos Angeles County
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