Family Of National Guardsman Killed by Police Plans to Sue City
QUEENS — The family of Noel Polanco, the unarmed National Guardsman who was shot and killed last year by an NYPD detective during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway, plans to sue the city for $20 million, according to the comptroller's office.
A grand jury last week chose not to indict Det. Hassan Hamdy, a member of the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit, after the October shooting of Polanco, 22, who police said was driving erratically before the stop. Hamdy approached the car and shot Polanco once after he said he believed Polanco was reaching for a gun, according to sources. No gun was found in the car.
Now the family has filed a wrongful death notice of claim against the detective and the city, according to documents provided by the comptroller's office.
"There's no evidence whatsoever of a gun being in the car," Polanco family lawyer Sanford Rubenstein told NY1. "We look forward to deposing this detective during the civil proceedings under oath with regard to what happened in this tragedy."
In addition to the wrongful death claim, the family plans to sue the city for negligent hiring of Hamdy, who the claim says pulled over Polanco at gun point, "illegally and without a proper warrant or cause, and for no apparent reason."
The family is also asking the U.S. Attorney's office to look into the case, NY1 reported.
"Now that the state system of criminal justice has been exhausted, it's appropriate, if the federal government were to be involved, for them to open up an investigation," Rubenstein said. "And that's what we are asking for. We're asking for the feds to open a criminal investigation with regard to the issue of federal civil rights violations."
Polanco's mother Cecilia Reyes told the network that is was still hard to accept the decision not to indict Hamdy, and that she hopes he receives some other punishment, according to NY1.
"I want him without a job," Reyes told the network. "I'm calling on the commissioner. I want this cop out of the street. I don't want to see him hurt anyone else."