Tag Archives: Police officer

Family of slain National Guardsman reaches $2.5 million settlement in suit against city


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The family of slain National Guardsman Noel Polanco has reached a $2.5 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

“While the family of Noel Polanco does not believe justice was done on the criminal side of our legal system certainly there was a measure of justice from the civil side of our legal system with the settlement of damages for wrongful death,” Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer for Polanco’s family said.

The 22-year-old Army Reserve member was fatally shot by NYPD police officer Hassan Hamdy during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway in October 2012.

Polanco was pulled over when he was seen driving erratically in his car, weaving between lanes and speeding on the highway before allegedly cutting off an unmarked police vehicle. Hamdy allegedly fired the single shot that killed Polanco when he told him to put his hands on the steering wheel and Polanco reached under the seat.

Last February, a Queens grand jury concluded that there would be no criminal charges filed in connection to the death of Polanco. By the end of the month, Polanco’s mother, Cecilia Reyes, announced a $20 million notice of claim to file a lawsuit against the city, NYPD and the officer who shot her son.

 

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Teen charges he was roughed up by cop


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK AND MELISA STUMPF

Sunset Park activists have released a video that they claim shows a New York City police officer “Groping, brutally body slamming then choking a teenager at the 45th Street train station in Brooklyn.”

The video was unveiled at a press conference held by La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park. In it, the teen, 19-year-old Sean Pagan, is seen being followed by the Transit Police officer, then pushed up against the wall and frisked. It is unclear what dialogue passes between the two, but, at one point, the teen squirms and the officer is seen thrusting him to the ground twice.

David Galarza, a member of the non-profit organization La Casita Comunal, filmed the incident.

Galarza said he was on his way home on Thursday evening, July 19, at around 9 p.m. when all of a sudden he saw Pagan being approached by an officer. He followed and captured what then transpired on video.

The video footage shows Pagan screaming out, “I am not resisting,” and questioning the officer, demanding, “What are you doing?”

“We believe the video is very clear,” said David Rankin, Pagan’s attorney. Pagan, he contended, “was complying” with the officer’s directives, and he asserted, “None of this [the officer’s actions] was justified. We are calling upon the NYPD to respect individuals.”

Pagan was charged with “resisting arrest” and “theft of services,” the latter for allegedly jumping the turnstile to enter the station, according to Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesperson, who sent this paper the following email statement.

“The subject, who has nine prior arrests  and one subsequent arrest, entered the subway system without paying, refused to present ID when challenged, and resisted arrest when the officer attempted to handcuff him,” Browne wrote. “He was charged with theft of services and resisting arrest. His previous and subsequent arrests  included  criminal mischief, intent to damage property; making graffiti, aggravated harassment by telephone,  and criminal contempt.”

Samuel Cruz, senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, said at the press conference that he thinks that “it is not tolerable to fear the police more than you would fear a criminal.”

As a “black and Latino man,” Cruz believes the community must address the issue.

“We are going to start policing the police. This could be my child. It has got to stop,” he remarked. “It makes me sad that our people have to live this way.”

Pagan, who works at a factory making clothes, said he is, “Kind of mad about what happened. I was shocked.” He spent 24 hours in jail and called his mom, alerting her of his arrest.

“She did not believe me,” the teenager said. “If it wasn’t for the video, nobody would’ve seen it, and I would just be another kid [who this has occurred to].”

Pagan, who looked down as the video was playing during the press conference, said that “violence doesn’t solve anything.”

Additional reporting by Denise Romano 

Police officer shot in Harlem


| brennison@queenscourier.com

An NYPD officer was shot in Harlem just before 4:30 p.m. today, police said.

The officer was shot in the left arm during a chase with a perp that left the suspect dead.

The perp, a black male in his 50s, was shot in the chest and declared dead on the scene, according to police.

The shooting occurred at West 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.  The officer, who reports say was part of the Queens violent felony squad, was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.