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Kingston-based Guardsman fatally shot by NYPD
By Lissa Harris
10/5/12 - 9:30 am
10/5/12 - 9:30 am
Early on Thursday morning, 22-year-old Noel Polanco was shot and killed in the front seat of his car by an NYPD officer, while pulled over for a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway. Polanco was a member of the Army National Guard assigned to the 1156th Engineer company, headquartered in Kingston.
The car Polanco was driving had two passengers: Diane DeFerrari, a bartender who worked with Polanco at a bar in Queens, and an unidentified off-duty NYPD officer. Neither was harmed.
DeFerrari, in a blistering statement outside the Astoria nightclub where she worked with Polanco, accused the cops of killing him in "an act of road rage . . . because my friend cut off the police" without knowing they were NYPD officers, the Post reported.
"The police proceeded to try to chase us, sticking their middle finger at us and screaming obscenities at the car trying to pull us over and veered us into the divider of the left lane of the Grand Central Parkway," DeFerrari said, according to the Post.
"To pull you over and ask for your license and registration is one thing," she said.
Police say ESU officers in an unmarked van and a truck spotted Polanco's Honda weaving in and out of traffic. They forced the 22-year-old, a national guardsman, to pull over.
Officers in uniform approached the car. One of them, 13-year veteran Hassan Hamdy, fired a shot through the passenger window, hitting Polanco in the abdomen.
Diane DeFerrari, who was in the car when 22-year-old Noel Polanco was shot and killed by police early Thursday morning, spoke to reporters about the incident Thursday night.
DeFerrari said cops ordered them to put their hands up but the shot was fired at the same time.
"No, he did not have a chance to put his hands up," she said. "The shot came right past my face and shot him."
NBC's Channel 4 in New York City reports that Polanco's mother, Cecelia Reyes, plans to hire an investigator to review the NYPD's actions.
"They're just gonna take my son like that ... like he's some kind of criminal ... 22 years old, never got in trouble. I want justice for my son," sobbed Cecelia Reyes. "I'm not gonna let his memory stay like this. He was not a bad kid."
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