Family of Man Killed by Police on Grand Central Parkway Takes Step Toward Lawsuit

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013  |  Updated 1:18 PM EDT
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The mother of a 22-year-old unarmed driver shot and killed by police after being pulled over on a busy highway near LaGuardia Airport on his way home from work decried the shooting Friday and demanded justice for her son.

The mother of a 22-year-old unarmed driver shot and killed by police after being pulled over on a busy highway near LaGuardia Airport on his way home from work decried the shooting Friday and demanded justice for her son.

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Passenger Disputes Cops' Account of Shooting

A friend of 22-year-old Noel Polanco, who was shot in the driver's seat by police after being pulled over on Grand Central Parkway, disputes the police account that he was reaching for a gun. Gus Rosendale reports.

Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed Man Near LGA

A police officer shot and killed a driver who was pulled over on a busy highway near LaGuardia Airport early Thursday because the cop mistakenly believed he had a gun, law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York.
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The family of an unarmed National Guardsman killed by police during a Queens traffic stop is taking its first official step toward a lawsuit.

A lawyer for the family of Noel Polanco filed a notice of claim Wednesday against New York City and the detective who fired the fatal shot.

A Queens grand jury last week refused to indict Detective Hassan Hamdy.

 

Polanco was on his way home to Corona from his job at the Ice Lounge in Astoria on Oct. 4, and had offered a ride to a colleague, bartender Diana D'Ferrari, and another woman, who was an off-duty police officer, according to law enforcement sources.

As they headed home on the Grand Central Parkway, Polanco, who had aspirations of becoming a cop, was pulled over after cutting off what turned out to be an unmarked police van.

When Polanco stopped the car, Hamdy, a 12-year veteran assigned to the Emergency Services Unit, approached the vehicle and asked him to show his hands, according to police. 

The detective fired a single shot through the passenger-side window and hit Polanco in the stomach. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

It's not clear what prompted the detective to fire the shot. Sources said Hamdy may have thought Polanco was reaching for a gun under his seat. But D'Ferrari, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, said his hands were on the steering wheel "at all times" and that the officers were angry when they pulled him over. 

No gun was recovered from the car.

The off-duty police officer in the car, who was in the back seat, told investigators she was asleep at the time.

Hamdy could still face departmental charges following an internal review.

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