NYPD Shooting of Unarmed National Guardsman Noel Polanco Described As Act of "Police Road Rage"

Categories: Cops, NYPD
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National Guardsman Noel Polanco was fatally shot by police yesterday morning. He was unarmed at the time.
The early morning shooting of an unarmed National Guardsman by an NYPD officer is being investigated by the Queens District Attorney's Office after a witness to the shooting describes the incident as a case of "police road rage."

Noel Polanco, 22, was fatally shot about 5:15 a.m. yesterday after weaving through traffic and cutting of two NYPD vans on the Grand Central Parkway, near Exit 7 and LaGuardia Airport.

After he was pulled over, NYPD Detective Hassan Hamdy approached the passenger-side door -- and that's when details get confusing.

Police initially said Polanco reached under his seat, at which point Hamdy fired once, hitting him in the torso.

But one of two witnesses to the shooting gives a much different account.

Witness Diane DeFerrari, who was seated in the passenger seat at the time of the shooting, says as she, the victim, and another woman -- off-duty NYPD officer Vanessa Rodriguez, who claims she slept through the entire thing -- were weaving through traffic, the officers in the NYPD vans were harassing them, with some of the officers flipping them off out the window of the speeding van.

Once Polanco pulled over, she says several NYPD officers -- including Hamdy -- jumped out of the van with their rifles drawn.

She says that as the officers ordered Polanco to put his hands up, Hamdy fired the fatal shot.

"There was no time to put your hands up at all. They shot in front of my face," DeFerrari tells the NY Post. "Had I moved an inch, it would probably have been me.''

After the shooting, she says one of the officers told her "your friend shot himself." Polanco's hands, she says, were on the steering wheel at all times.

Now, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says it's unclear whether Polanco moved after the officers told him to show them his hands.

Hamdy is no stranger to allegations of poor police work. In both 2001 and 2008, the city shelled out more than $225,000 to people who claim Hamdy and other cops he's associated with for violating their rights.

The NYPD ignored multiple requests for comment.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown -- as well as the NYPD's Internal Affairs Unit -- is looking into the shooting.

Check back for updates.
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15 comments
carlraymiller
carlraymiller

I just had a guy with road rage yell and scream at me becouse i passed him i ignored him and didnt may eye contact but the guy was clearly inrage

shaygabriel
shaygabriel

@ohtarzie My roommate told me about that earlier, but that article has so many infuriating details. Like "your friend shot himself."

quietlite50
quietlite50

Step one - get rid of Bloomberg.   We don't need power hungry millionaires with giant egos who think they know it all buy their way into government.  Step 2. Get rid of Kelly or whoever the person is who runs the NYPD is.

quietlite50
quietlite50

The NYPD is out of control and has been for a long time.

hannagc10
hannagc10

Hassan,the muslim guy, who is killig the infidels in name of Allah.We mustn't allow muslims in army or police .We must wake up investigate if there is any muslim working in police or army.All need you to remember Major Hassan who killed our soliders in fort Hamiliton!!!FBI wake up

Nueva York
Nueva York

and details of the story are being swept under the rug at this very moment!

emeryannharris
emeryannharris

OMG, his poor mother :-(

Is there a way we can send her some money? I know it seems trivial compared to the scale of her loss, but funerals aren't cheap.

jimbo
jimbo

I had to come back to this because it's bothering me. It's bothering because, for me, there seem to be two tag lines you can deduce from this particular homicide.

 

The first is that there is no protected class or occupation for swarthy young gentlemen. You could be walking around with a purple heart pinned to your chest, have another cop in the car with you, whatever. Still fair game. That's one.

 

The other thing is that white people don't give a shit. Not talking just suburban Republicans here. The white left has moved on to tree hugging and organics and all that Whole Foods liberalism. The rest of White Manhattan is just having a grand time enjoying all the wonderful restaurants and gallery openings and the whole heaven on earth for the upper middle class that this city is. 

 

Some of us will make a pretense of caring but we're not about to let it ruin our good times. Musto will run one of his catty pieces about a bourgeois shirts and skins party later and that will get 10x more traffic then this. The kid who got bodied out there in flyover on the GCP just doesn't rate compared to conjecture about Nicky Minaj's eye shadow. 

 

I feel like I give a shit, but what am I going to do? Nothing at all. When so few other whites care even enough to comment anonymously on a blog, it's hard to imagine what I could do. Would I have to strap a bomb to myself to make a difference? I'm not going to do that. These are excuses of course, and even this anonymous blog comment is probably a feeble attempt at absolution. It's all selfish. 

 

I'm one of the two or three white people who will even take a second or two to think about this dead kid before I go have myself a cool Manhattan Friday, and I'm not going to do shit either. Not a goddamn thing.  These kids are fair game, all of them, even the war heroes. And they're on their own. In the enlightened, liberal city they're on their own. Nohing new I guess, but damn.

FrankyBabylon
FrankyBabylon

@villagevoice How much longer before people start shooting first or back at these crooked police?

jimbo
jimbo

Oh ya, that's a combat patch on Polanco's arm. That doesn't make his life worth more than somebody else's life, but it means that pig shot and killed a war veteran.

jimbo
jimbo

DeFerrari needs to put herself into some kind of protection by people licensed to carry. Vanessa Rodriguez is a coward.

 

People might have to start considering a shoot-first approach to the cops. It's a very tough situation, because when their fat asses turn the blue lights on, chances are it's over for you no matter what you do. But then, maybe it's not. Maybe you kill a cop and go to jail and it turns out you didn't have to. But maybe it's over for you if you don't shoot first. The thing the cops have to consider, the more they make that second outcome a reality, the more tempting it becomes to shoot first and take your chances with the consequences. 

ohtarzie
ohtarzie

@shaygabriel Even though I don't fit the profile for maximum harassment, I walk the other way when I see cops. I did tonight, in fact.

ohtarzie
ohtarzie

@shaygabriel it's horrifying but of course completely to be expected. Hot tempers. Weapons. Unaccountability.

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