Mom of Guardsman Shot by Cops Meets With DA
QUEENS — The mother of the National Guardsman killed by an NYPD detective during a traffic stop in Jackson Heights last week met Thursday with the DA's office, which is investigating the 22-year-old's death.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown reached out to Polanco's mother, Cecilia Reyes, and requested the meeting, one week after her son's tragic death on the Grand Central Parkway, a spokesman for Brown's office said.
Reyes, who was joined by her attorneys Michael A. Hardy and Sanford A. Rubenstein, said Brown told her during the half-hour meeting that it was likely the investigation would reach a grand jury.
"I really have faith they're going to do this," Reyes said on the steps of the Queens Criminal Court House on Thursday morning. "I want this to be just done the way it should be. Legal. And that they can at least give me the peace to understand that they are doing this the correct way."
"I don't want any cover-ups," she added.
Brown's office declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation, only saying that it is in the early stages, according to a statement.
"(O)ur decisions in this case will be based solely on the facts and the law and that we will follow the evidence wherever it leads us," Brown's statement read. "My primary responsibility is to insure that nothing compromises or prejudices this investigation and a discussion of that which purportedly occurred – based upon preliminary and, in many instances, unsubstantiated facts – would be inconsistent with that responsibility."
Polanco was pulled over on the morning of Oct. 4 by the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit after allegedly driving erratically on the Grand Central Parkway, near 94th Street.
Sources said Det. Hassan Hamdy of the ESU approached the car yelling "Put your hands up!" and fired one shot after he allegedly saw Polanco reach down to grab an object.
No weapon was found in the car, but police did find a yellow power drill.
Brown's office is investigating the death alongside the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau.
Polanco's wake held at the Leo. F. Kearns Funeral Home at 61-40 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park on Wednesday, and another wake will be held Thursday night from 6 to 10 p.m., a representative from the funeral home said.
On Friday, there will be a funeral service at Eternal Love Baptist church at 54-07 99th St.
The attorneys said that family and witnesses would cooperate fully with the District Attorney's investigation, and that they're confident Brown's office is committed to an independent investigation.
"We look forward to a Grand Jury made up of the people of Queens making a determination with regard to whether a crime was committed," Rubenstein said.