Passenger: NYPD Shooting of Driver Unprovoked

Friday, October 05, 2012

Noel Polanco, 22, was shot dead by police when he was pulled over in Queens early Thursday. (Facebook)

A passenger said nothing was done to provoke police to fatally shoot the specialist in the Army National Guard driving on a New York City highway on Thursday.

Diane Deferrari of Queens said the bullet that struck and killed driver Noel Polanco narrowly missed her and that uniformed officers pointed their guns through her open window after they pulled the vehicle over near LaGuardia Airport. Deferrari said one of the officers told her, “Your friend shot himself.”

An off-duty police officer, Vanessa Rodriguez, was asleep in the back seat. She was awakened by the gunshot.

It’s unclear what prompted the Detective Hassam Hamby, a 14-year veteran, to shoot. He is a member of the elite Emergency Services Unit and has been assigned to desk duty, which is standard practice following a police-involved shooting.

“ESU officers receive twice as much training as a regular police officer,” said Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman. Only about 450 out of the 34, 500-strong force are placed in the unit.

The Queens District Attorney and NYPD Internal Affairs are investigating the shooting.

Last month, an officer shot and killed an unarmed bodega worker in what police described as an accident when the man collided with the responding officer.

“I’m seeing more of a cluster of police shootings happening in a tighter time frame than we’ve seen over the years”, said Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association. “But in my 30 years in the NYPD, I haven’t met one officer who came to work with the intention of being involved in a shooting to where there was no weapon and someone dies.”

Polcano had been a member of the 1156th Engineer Company of the New York Army National Guard since 2008.

Captain Daniel Columb, his company commander, said “he was a good soldier who was well liked in his unit.”

With the Associated Press


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Comments [8]

Dave Ramos from Nyc

He wasn't acting like a soldier, he should have just pulled over and deal with being arrested for dwi

Oct. 07 2012 10:21 PM

This isn't North Korea, people are allowed to have their own personal aesthetics and lifestyles. Posing with a sideways cap or having a chest tattoo doesn't give the police justification to gun you down in the street.

Meanwhile Det. Hamdy already has a record of brutalizing citizens which other news sites have covered.

Oct. 05 2012 07:05 PM
Leo from queens

what is a 'gangsta' picture? what is a 'gangsta' pose? - If the kid is part of the National Guard it shows this kid had no criminal record.. Most young people have poses in their fotos?

John, can you point to local, state, federal laws that call for the death penalty for posing in a 'gangsta' style? or that give police officers the right to carry out an execution right on the spot if they suspect someone is drunk or is a 'gansta'?
Are police officers now equiped to bring up your personal facebook page when they pull you over and authorized to carry out an execution because they didn't like your comments?

you fail to see that what Guiliani and Bloomberg have encouraged of the NYPD is eating as the morale of the NYPD and is undermining the safety and integrity of 90% of the officers that are decent people

Oct. 05 2012 04:34 PM
john from office

The photos are on the face book page, there were several others. I am not speaking of the Soldier photos. Try reading more than one article about an issue.

Oct. 05 2012 04:17 PM
Leo from Queens

where is the mayor and City Council president when it comes to eliminating these extra judicial executions? They have full control and accountability of the NYPD and are basically letting Kelly do what he wants while police officers are not properly trained.

Not only are these executions illegal, they are terrorizing the citizens of this city and draining our tax coffers as we have to pay for 'training' of police officers and pay for the litigation and the payments to the families of those being executed.
There are some serious problems of moral, training and lack of accountability in the NYPD and the people accountable are not being held to account.
When will they take action? when will the media in this City hold them to account? When their children get executed or a well to do young man on the UES is executed as happened with the neglect in building construction safety?

Oct. 05 2012 03:57 PM

John, are you an idiot, or are you blind?

Those aren't "gangsta" photos, that's a U.S. ARMY UNIFORM. Christ!

Oct. 05 2012 03:11 PM
john from office

We were not on that road nor in that car that night. Lets let the system work before you make assumptions as to what happened. WNYC is reporting the news not coloring the news to please cop haters. The police is not out hunting anyone. But, if they confront a "suspect" the chance that it will be a person of color is high. Hence, more people of color have contact with police wheather positive or negative.

Also, young people out there, be careful what you post on facebook, it will comeback to you in a postive or negative way. Any good lawyer will use the "gangsta" photos above as a negative at trial in this matter.

Oct. 05 2012 10:08 AM
NYC123 from nyc

Why doesnt WNYC take a stand? You take a stand with certain ethnic issues but the MURDER of young people of color by the police gets less investigation than a dog being treated unfairly. How many of these incidents needs to happen? I wait for the day when a Black cop shoots a white suspect on park ave who just left a young republicans meeting. Even with the grand jury on their side, does anyone not ask themselves why black cops dont shoot young white suspects with the same frequency?

Oct. 05 2012 09:35 AM

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