The family of a Carson man shot and killed by Long Beach Police Officers in front of a casino is filing a claim Thursday against the department.
They’re asking for $20 million – and changes to the way Long Beach trains officers.
Khanly Saycon Junior said his son, Mharloun Saycon, wasn’t dangerous.
“He’s a gentle giant, when he (doesn't) have a relapse, he’s normal person, you can’t tell any different," he said.
Saycon, 39, suffered from bipolar disorder.
On Dec. 14, he walked into the Looff’s Lite-A-Line casino on Long Beach Boulevard with a knife.
Employees called police for assistance.
In a report at the time, police said it was around 10 p.m. when they got a report of a man waiving a knife around inside and that some customers feared for their safety.
An attorney for the Saycon family, Dan Stormer, tells a different story.
"On this day the manager of the facility was calling the police to get assistance for Mharloun because he did not present a threat, he was not a problem, he was just there and seemed to be out of it," he said.
The Long Beach Police Department declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Stormer said he interviewed witnesses who were there that day.
According to Stormer, an employee had asked Saycon to put away a three-inch blade that he had been scratching on a table.
He said Saycon compiled and took a seat, but staff requested that police escort him off the premises.
Instead of keeping calm, Stormer said police escalated the situation.
“There was no threatening gesture, he just stood there in cold blood and shot him eight times," Stormer said. "There was no one within 20 feet of him, he was just sitting there, holding the knife closed, in his hand and the police came in and just killed him, they should be prosecuted."
The claim demands Long Beach give its officers training in de-escalation techniques.
In past department statements, police officials said officers tried to use less lethal means on Saycon, to little effect.
No one else was hurt and a knife was recovered.
At least part of the incident that night was caught on video and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing that as part of its investigation.
Filing the claim is a step towards filing a lawsuit.
The city has 45 days to respond.
The claim comes two days after the Los Angles Police Commission voted to write new policies to govern when LAPD officers can use force. They'll emphasize minimal use of force and urge officers to de-escalate tension during confrontations.