LONG BEACH, CA — Earlier this month, a Filipino family who lost their mentally ill son to a police shooting, reached a big settlement with the city of Long Beach.
The cash award is just the beginning as the legal process continues.
A multi-million dollar settlement between the Saycon family and the city of Long Beach may have avoided a civil case, but the 2015 officer involved in the shooting death of the mentally ill Philippine-born Mharloun Saycon is still far from settled.
The Saycon family, their attorneys, and community members are now waiting for criminal charges to be filed.
“The city would say we are not admitting fault but the payment of two million dollars is enough recognition their officer used excessive force, as far as the criminal justice system is concerned that is something left under the district attorneys office, we learned that is still under investigation,” said Atty. Joe Sayas.
The investigation has lasted over two years.
The $2 million dollar payout is believed to be the largest in Long Beach’s history.
The incident began in December of 2015 where the 39-year-old Saycon, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his 20’s, was sitting at a casino with a pocket knife.
Though he was not posing a threat, casino staff hoped that police could bring him somewhere to find him help.
But it resulted in what Attorney Joe Sayas describes s excessive force with tasers, batons, and gunfire that left Saycon dead.
The two officers, Which includes an Asian and a Latino, remain active with the police department.
“This Officer intended to kill Mharloun, while Mhraloun was busy removing the taser wands, while Mharloun was sitting down, and while this officer the shooter was about 10 feet away, if that is not excessive force, then we all know what excessive force is,” said Sayas.
Sayas believes community involvement, from grassroots groups as well as the Philippine consulate, may help push this case to the next phase.
“It’s the work of the district attorneys office who may respond to political pressures, who may respond to community requests. So that’s why we’re calling on community members, the media, you have the power ladies and gentlemen to apply pressure on our leaders to make the right decision.”
“It also important to put pressure on Long Beach to really address this. And since they were suppose to start the investigation 30 days,” says PWC’s Aqui Soriano Versoza. It’s unacceptable that they waited 2 years and we will be directly communicating if not also leading more community action around this issue.”
When the district attorney’s investigation is complete — and if charges are then filed — the Long Beach police department is expected to bring the case to a shooting review board.