The shooting of an unarmed Army Reservist on the Grand Central Parkway early Thursday morning is being investigated by the Queens District Attorney after a witness said the victim never took his hands of the steering wheel.
Noel Polanco was pulled over by cops at 5:15 a.m. after speeding and swerving on the eastbound Grand Central Parkway and cutting off police vehicles. After being stopped, a pair of uniformed officers stepped out of their cars and flanked the 2012 Honda Fit.
Diane DeFerrari, who was sitting in the passenger seat, told the NY Post they were ordered to put their hands up, but before Polanco had a chance he was shot by Detective Hassan Hamdy.
“There was no time to put your hands up at all,” DeFerrar told the paper, adding Polanco had his hands on the steering wheel when he was shot. “They shot in front of my face. Had I moved an inch, it would probably have been me.”
After being taken to New York Hospital Queens by EMS, Polanco was pronounced dead at 5:58 a.m.
A third passenger, Vanessa Rodriguez, an NYPD officer on modified duty after a shoplifting charge, was also in the car’s backseat.
The three were on their way home from Ice Lounge in Astoria.
No weapon was found in the car, only a power drill under the driver’s side seat.
Those close to him said the Army Reservist never found himself in trouble.
“I never had to worry about him,” Polanco’s mother, Cecilia Reyes, told the Daily News. “He had never been in a precinct in his life. He was in the military and would never do anything to endanger his career. Daily news
The case is being investigated by Internal Affairs and the Queens DA.