Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Grand Jury Expected To Look At National Guardsman's Shooting Death

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The lawyer for the NYPD detective accused of shooting and killing an unarmed man said Monday that he expects a grand jury will convene in the coming weeks.

Detective Hassan Hamdy shot 22-year-old Noel Polanco during a traffic stop on Thursday.

Officials say Polanco was weaving between cars, including one driven by police.

Hamdy's attorney said Polanco lunged toward the floor of his car when Hamdy ordered him to put his hands up.

He said Hamdy then fired a shot, believing his life was in danger.

No gun was found in the car.

The Queens District attorney is investigating.

Police commissioner Ray Kelly said the department is following standard procedure.

"We have not spoken to the shooting officer," Kelly said. "That is our normal protocol. The reason we don't do that is because there's the potential of getting immunity to the shooter in cases like that. So the investigation is going forward but it appears to me that the grand jury will have to be involved in this investigation."

A passenger in the car said Hamdy opened fire before anyone had a chance to show their hands but Hamdy's lawyer said his client is eager to tell his side of the story.

Several of Polanco's friends and co-workers attended a fundraiser Sunday night at the Ice Lounge in Astoria, where Polanco worked. They are trying to raise money for his funeral expenses.

Friends described Polanco as a good person who never caused any trouble.

Many of his friends can't make any sense out of what happened.

"It's hard. It's hard. It's hard," said friend Alex Burgos. "He was one of our own. We do these every day, Monday through Saturday. We're always together."

"You know, I want to think it was an accident," said friend Nelson Delarosa. "I don't want to think cops out there are just shooting people for no reason, you know. But it's unfortunate it happened to a friend of mine, someone who was dear to me."

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