Family of mentally ill woman fatally shot by Long Beach police awarded $9M in lawsuit

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of a woman who was fatally shot by Long Beach police two years ago is speaking out after winning a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city.

Sinuon Pream -- a mentally ill 37-year-old woman -- was shot and killed by Long Beach police in 2017.

"There's nothing that can ever replace my mom. Nothing can replace the moments, the memories that we could have shared with her," Jocelyn Ly, Pream's daughter, said.

A jury awarded the family $9 million, the largest award in Long Beach history involving an officer-involved shooting, the family's attorneys claim.

Police responded to calls of a woman, later identified as Pream, armed with a knife, confronting other people the morning of Jan. 15, 2017.

"They tried to apprehend Ms. Pream, but what they did instead is they ended up taking her life when they should have tried to help her," attorney Rodney Diggs said.

Pream's attorneys says at 5 foot 2 inches tall, no more than 100 pounds, she posed no threat to officers Bradley Muhlenkamp and Elieser Domingo, insisting the officers should have done more to de-escalate the situation.

The Long Beach Police Officers Association said it's extremely disappointed with the verdict.

In a statement, it said in part:

"The officers gave her numerous opportunities to cooperate, and even deployed a Taser to stop from advancing towards other potential victims, however, when she intentionally turned and came at the officers with the same knife she had just used to attack other people, the officers had to react. This was a clear case of self-defense."

In a statement, the city of Long Beach said the verdict was unexpected, one reason being the results of an investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, which concluded that the officer's conduct were a "lawful use of self-defense and defense of others."

The city also said it is exploring post-trial relief, including a possible appeal.

"Nothing can replace the love that a mother has for their daughter," Ly said.

Pream's family said the jury award can't bring her back, but it provides some closure.
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