Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The mother of an unarmed National Guardsman who was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop has met with the Queens prosecutor.
Cecilia Reyes spoke to media on the steps of Queens Criminal Court on Thursday after meeting with District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Reyes says she wants "justice" for her son, 22-year-old Noel Polanco. She remembers him as a "beautiful child" who never caused problems.
"All I want is justice," she said. "I just want this to happen the right way. I lost my son, I'm just hurt right now. I'm in so much pain. I don't want any cover up — just justice."
When asked by reporters if she was concerned about a cover-up because the incident involves a police officer, she said yes.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Thursday that he felt the case should go before a grand jury and that, like all police-involved shootings, the department will study the incident.
"This case, I believe, needs to go to the grand jury," he said. "I've spoken to Judge Brown and I know they're going to do an in-depth investigation."
The prosecutor's office assured Reyes and her lawyers, Sanford Rubenstein and Michael Hardy, that the case will likely go before a grand jury. Rubenstein said he expects the investigation to take six to eight weeks to be completed.
Polanco was shot by Detective Hassan Hamdy last week. No weapon was found in Polanco's car.
Hamdy's lawyer said he fired after he saw Polanco reaching under his seat. He said Polanco didn't comply with Hamdy's orders to put his hands up.
A front-seat passenger in Polanco's car disputed that account, saying Polanco had no time to comply.
Polanco's funeral will be held at Eternal Love Baptist Church on Friday in Corona, Queens.
Elizabeth Spain and the Associated Press contributed reporting