NEW YORK (PIX11) — A NYPD detective who shot and killed an unarmed National Guardsman during a traffic stop in 2012 will face departmental charges in the case, officials said Friday.
Detective Hassan Hamdy pulled over Noel Polanco on the Grand Central Parkway Oct. 4, 2012. Hamdy said he opened fire on 22-year-old Polanco because he saw the guardsman reach under his seat with both hands.
A grand jury chose not to indict the detective, but an internal review “determined that the officers should be served with departmental charges,” NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster said in a statement to PIX11.
The New York Daily News reports that Hamdy has been charged with “failing to employ proper tactics causing a civilian’s death.” A sergeant has also been charged in the case.
At a news conference Friday, Polanco’s mother said the charges are not closure but they represent a step in the right direction.
“It’s very, very painful to even know that I won’t ever be able to say, at least, ‘I love you my son,” Cecilia Reyes said. “Every single day, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my son.”
A police union spokesman said he does not believe legal action is necessary.
“We do not believe that the actions that the officers took on October 4th, 2012, warrant any type of departmental charges,” said Bob Ganley, vice president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association. “This is clearly a bureaucratic with-hunt and they are scapegoating these fine, highly trained officers. This incident was truly a tragedy, but that does not mean that police officers involved did anything wrong.”
An internal disciplinary process is underway, Royster said. The final decision about whether Hamdy will be penalized, if at all, rests with the police commissioner, she said.