Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Detective Who Shot Unarmed Guardsman Disciplined by NYPD

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    An NYPD detective who shot and killed a National Guardsman during a traffic stop in Queens in October 2012 was hit Thursday with departmental charges for the young man's death, according to police officials. Andrew Siff reports. News 4's Andrew Siff has the story.

    An NYPD detective who shot and killed a National Guardsman during a traffic stop in Queens in October 2012 was hit Thursday with departmental charges for the young man's death, according to police officials.

    The NYPD charged Detective Hassan Hamdy with "failure to employ proper tactics that caused a civilian's death."  In February, a grand jury cleared Hamdy of any wrongdoing in the death of 22-year-old Noel Polanco, who was shot after being pulled over on the Grand Central Parkway. 

    Sgt. Thomas Glaudino, who supervised Hamdy's Emergency Service Unit team, was charged with  "failure to supervise his team" by the NYPD. 

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    Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster says the department will initiate an "internal disciplinary process, which may result in adjudication by the Department Advocate's office."

    "The final decision regarding penalties will rest solely with the Police Commissioner," said Royster.

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    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.

    Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association called the NYPD decision to charge the detective and sergeant in the case "Monday morning quarterbacking."

    Law enforcement sources say the reason for the disciplinary charges now is that the NYPD has only 18 months by law to pursue such charges. Friday marks 18 months since the incident. 

    Detectives Endowment Association president Michael Palladino said he hoped to meet with Commissioner Bratton to clarify the charges. 

    When she learned the NYPD was pursuing departmental charges against Hamdy, Polanco's mother Cecilia Reyes said, "I feel he's dangerous, and I don't want anyone to deal with the pain we had to endure."

    "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my son. And I miss my son so much," she said. 

    Mullins said, "I feel sorry for the family, but just because this occurred doesn't mean the officer did anything wrong." 

    Reyes recently won a $2.5 million settlement from the city. 

    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, then 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.

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