Skip to comments.City to pay Corona mom $2.5M for sonís death
Posted on 02/22/2014 1:21:14 PM PST by Uncle Chip
New York City has reached a $2.5 million settlement with the family of an unarmed National Guardsman who was shot and killed by an NYPD detective as he was driving late at night on the Grand Central Parkway in 2012, according to the familys attorney.
Noel Polanco, 22, was shot in the stomach by a member of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit Apprehension Team, Hassan Hamdy, who saw Polanco reaching for something he believed was a weapon after he was pulled over by officers....
No weapon was found in the car, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, and a grand jury decided against formally charging Hamdy.
Polancos mother, Cecilia Reyes, of Corona, filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit in Brooklyn in July seeking damages in excess of $75,000 as a judgment for assault and battery in the shooting of Polanco....
Officers said they saw Polanco driving erratically in the right lane, cutting between vans, tailgating another vehicle in the left lane, then cutting back in-between the vans to the right lane, police said.
One of the two passengers in the car, Diane DeFerrari, said Polanco kept his hands on the steering wheel. The other passenger, off-duty Officer Vanessa Rodriguez, was sleeping at the time.
The family feels they did not get justice in the criminal side of the case but on the civil side this family did get a measure of justice, Rubenstein said.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesledger.com ...
You can call me Hassan,...or you can call be Hamdy! Not charged????
Think I remember this one as the there was another car load of police who weren’t traffic — they were detectives. The one that shot the kid has a middle eastern Arab name. Could be Muslim.
Take some money out of the 2.5M and pay for justice ... justice has to be bought and paid for in advance these days.
The driving recklessly, weaving in lanes is a very old cop trick. Impossible to prove or disprove most of the time.
The driving sounds like just about everyone in NYC.
I’m unfamiliar with this case. If the guy really was driving wrecklessly, why the high payout? Maybe he was drunk or high. Was the payout that high because he was a National Guard?
Just like the Euharlee shooting — a gun was alleged but no gun found.
He was alleged to have reached under his seat but all passengers said his hands were on the steering wheel the whole time.
And there was an off-duty cop in the back seat holding her NYPD badge out the window to notify the cops to back off.
And he was shot anyway.
The city was in deep trouble with this one.
The payout was high because their officer was culpable and the city knew it.
If they had gone to trial it might have been $10 million and with the bad publicity even more.
I’m just wondering how the boneheaded misled Grand Jury that no-billed feels right about now???
“Im unfamiliar with this case. If the guy really was driving wrecklessly, why the high payout? Maybe he was drunk or high. Was the payout that high because he was a National Guard?”
The payout was “that high” because it was an uncalled for shooting. If the family had not settled and if I was on the civil jury I would have done everything possible to have the award be MANY, MANY times the settlement amount. As usual, the killing cop’s harshest punishment was a long paid vacation (government employees refer to it as paid administrative leave). Doing a little research I saw that the cop was involved in earlier brutality lawsuits which the City settled.
Of course, the off duty cop was asleep. That’s why she couldn’t testify against her fellow cops.
So which was it? The backseat cop was asleep or she was holding her badge out of the window?
She was asleep -- but her arm holding the badge out the window wasn't.
Probably about the same as the judges & parole boards do when they free criminals that kill and/or maim over and over again. NOTHING.
Hassan Hamdy, NYPD Detective Who Shot Unarmed Man, Was Named In Earlier Civil Rights Lawsuits
he NYPD detective who shot and killed an unarmed National Guardsman during a traffic stop early Thursday morning was named in two civil rights complaints that ended in significant payouts by the city, court records show.
Detective Hassan Hamdy, identified by police as the officer who fatally shot Noel Polanco, 22, was one of several officers named in a 2007 brutality lawsuit by a Queens grandmother and her grandson who said they were terrorized by police after being subjected to an illegal search of their home. The suit was settled for $235,000.
Fred Lichtmacher, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said the NYPD moved swiftly to settle the case out of court. Under the terms of the settlement, the officers admitted no fault or liability for the incident.
“The city was very anxious to get rid of this,” Lichtmacher told The Huffington Post. “I never got to see what the cops’ records were like.”
Attempts to reach Hamdy for comment were unsuccessful.
A spokeswoman for New York City’s legal department said Hamdy did not appear to be a “major player” in the Queens brutality case. But the city also said that Hamdy was named in another civil rights complaint that the city settled for $291,000 in 2001, and that details of that case were not immediately available.
But Diane DeFerrari, a bartender sitting in the front passenger seat of Polanco’s car, has contradicted the police account, telling news outlets that Polanco had his hands on the steering wheel at all times during the stop.
DeFerrari described the officers who made the traffic stop as aggressive, saying they screamed obscenities and extended the middle finger toward the car before Polanco pulled over. She said Polanco had no time to reach under the seat before being shot.
“All you had to do was pull him over, ask for license and registration and take him to jail. There was no reason for this innocent kid to be killed,” she told CBS News.
A third passenger, off-duty police officer Vanessa Rodriguez, 29, was asleep in the backseat, police said.
Court records do not indicate whether Hamdy was disciplined by the NYPD for his involvement in the 2007 brutality incident.
But according to Dorothy Garcia, 74, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Hamdy was one of several officers who broke down her front door in pursuit of her grandson, who they mistakenly believed was involved in a violent crime.
Garcia identified Hamdy after being shown his photograph by reporters on Friday.
“They stormed up. They were screaming,” Garcia said. She answered the door and the officers demanded to see her grandson, Tyrell Garcia, who was then 23.
When Ms. Garcia refused to let them in her house without a warrant, Hassan and the other officers began forcing their way into the house, she said. The officers broke down the door and chased after Tyrell, who hid in a neighbor’s garage.
According to the lawsuit, the teen surrendered and walked out of the garage peacefully, but was thrown to the ground and beaten by officers. A police dog was allowed to bite him repeatedly, the complaint said.
Several minor criminal charges were filed against Garcia for fleeing the police, but were later dropped, said Lichtmacher, the attorney. Garcia was cleared of any involvement in the crime that prompted the initial search.
“They were extremely aggressive with very little information,” Lichtmacher said. “They had no warrant. It was a very strange incident.”
Lichtmacher, who frequently represents plaintiffs in brutality cases against the NYPD, said he was unaware of Hamdy’s specific role in the 2007 incident. But he said it was unsurprising to see Hamdy involved in another event involving allegations of unjustified use of force.
“We see the same guys over and over,” he said.
A rally in protest of Noel Polanco’s shooting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the headquarters of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem.
The source said that when Polancos car was searched, a carpenters screw gun was found in the drivers floor area.
A four-volt, black and yellow Ryobi power tool was found in the car, but no weapon.
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