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Long Beach Police Used Excessive Force In Killing Of Mentally Ill Man, Family Claims

Saycon lived in Carson. (Image via Facebook)
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The family of a mentally ill man who was shot and killed by Long Beach police filed a legal claim Thursday saying officers used excessive force during the encounter, according to the L.A. Times.

On December 14, Long Beach police were called to an arcade on the 2500 block of Long Beach Boulevard to escort 39-year-old Mharloun Saycon off the arcade's property. According to the Long Beach Post, Saycon was reportedly carrying a knife when officers arrived and refused to comply with their orders to drop the weapon.

Sgt. Brad Johnson of the Long Beach Police told the Long Beach Press-Telegram after the shooting that "officers tried a less-lethal electronic control device and baton, and neither less-lethal force was effective." Saycon allegedly continued to resist, and one of the officers opened fire on him, killing him at the scene.

According to the claim filed by Saycon's family, the man was scratching a table with a knife and was asked to put it away. The claim follows that Saycon complied, but another employee called police to help in escorting him out of the building. Where officers said there was a "panic" in the arcade over Saycon and his knife, Saycon's family says there was none. They also argue that staff there were familiar with Saycon, and that officers were told Saycon suffered from a mental disability.

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"There was absolutely no need for this use of lethal force," the claim reads, per the L.A. Times. "Neither the officer nor anyone else was in danger."

The family alleges police used a stun-gun against Saycon immediately upon arrival, without any verbal commands. Their claim follows that officers escalated their use of force with a baton and gunfire without ever issuing verbal commands to Saycon.

Saycon's death occurred just days before another family sued the Long Beach Police department over the killing 20-year-old Feras Morad, an unarmed college student shot and killed by Long Beach police in May of 2015.

A month before Morad's death, Long Beach Police shot and killed a 19-year-old named Hector Morejon. Like Morad, Morejean was unarmed.

A claim such as the one filed by Mharloun Saycon' family is usually the precursor to a lawsuit.