Business as usual at the NYPD. It had been almost five weeks since any unarmed citizens had been shot, but New York’s finest remedied that when an officer the New York Post described as being “from an elite unit” shot an off-duty National Guardsman to death in his car. “Noel Polanco, 22, had his hands on the steering wheel of his 2012 Honda Fit moments before Detective Hassan Hamdy shot him once in the torso, a woman sitting in the front passenger seat told police, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.” The shooting of another unarmed New Yorker was particularly awkward – not least for Polanco – given the timing as Bloomberg’s Army had just announced earlier in the week that they’d decided to restore the service gun to one of the officers who had gunned down an unarmed Amadou Diallo thirteen years ago . . .

About the decision to re-arm the Diallo shooter, the Times reports that,

The Police Department offered no official explanation on Tuesday about restoring a gun to the officer, Kenneth Boss. But a law enforcement official familiar with (Commissioner) Kelly’s reasoning pointed to the recent exoneration of another officer, Michael Carey, who fired 3 of 50 bullets shot at Sean Bell, who was killed on the morning of his wedding outside a Queens nightclub in 2006.

The two passengers in Polanco’s car (one an off-duty cop) should probably consider themselves lucky. Considering the Big Apple’s boys in blue fired 41 rounds at Diallo and a unleashed a full half century at Sean Bell, the fact that Officer Hamdy only squeezed off two rounds showed admirable restraint. But maybe that “elite unit” gets more range time than your average beat cop.

It is “unknown” if Polanco moved after Hamdy, 39, yelled, “Show me your hands!” to the three people in the car — one of them a sleeping off-duty cop in the back seat— on the Grand Central Parkway near La Guardia Airport at 5:15 a.m. today, Browne said.

The woman in the front seat, a bartender named Diane DeFerrari, “said she complied with the cop’s direction to raise her hands,” Browne said.

“The last thing she saw was [Polanco’s] hands on the steering wheel,” Browne added.

Or maybe there wasn’t much restraint involved after all.

DeFerrari, in a blistering statement tonight outside the Astoria nightclub where she worked with Polanco, accused the cops of killing him in “an act of road rage . . . because my friend cut off the police” without knowing they were NYPD officers.

“The police proceeded to try to chase us, sticking their middle finger at us and screaming obscenities at the car trying to pull us over and veered us into the divider of the left lane of the Grand Central Parkway,” DeFerrari said.

Given their track record, Officer Hamdy can probably expect to get his gun back in about a decade after serving time on a cushy desk duty beat.

56 Responses to NYPD Officer Kills Unarmed National Guardsman

  1. You have to give the NYPD props for honoring the STFU rule. Matter of fact they have incorporated it into law. No questioning for 48 hours.

  2. I’m a little fuzzy on why they identify him as a National Guardsman. Is that somehow worse than shooting unarmed full-time civilians?

    • Probably because he was probably an exemplory citizen. Makes a stronger case for the lawlessness of the NYPD.

    • +1. I’m a little surprised and disappointed, TTAG and DZ: this kind of rhetoric in the subject of this post alone is something I expected more from the anti-gun crowd.

      Using the “unarmed” word implies different things to different people:
      To antigunners– he was a defenseless and compliant man, and couldn’t have posed any harm (does this sound familiar in the wake of another DGU?).
      To pro 2A foks– he couldn’t exercise his right to bear arms.

      I realize it’s a subject line, but rhetoric like this can backfire on us.

      • I’m glad I grew up in an era when we didn’t need to be so politically correct. If the guy was a National Guardsman it should be okay to say so, same as if he were a bell hop or a race car driver. If he was unarmed, it’s okay to say so too.

        Would it be PC enough if the headline read, “Person Killed By Person”?

        • Point taken. Next time I’m going to stick with my first impressions about staying out of political discussions.

        • Okay to mention it? Sure. It’s hardly a secret. I’d hate to think that being in the National Guard was what defined him, and as someone who writes report titles and subject lines all day long, I wouldn’t classify that as important enough to the story to warrant a mention in one.

          I’ve been in for over 9 years, over 8 of them on active duty, but I’d just as soon be defined as “local citizen” or whatever the local convention is.

          Of course, I’m never going to be described as “unarmed” in one of these hypothetical headlines, unless I happen to be at work when it happens, in which case National Guardsman might be the relevant descriptor.

  3. I prefer the belief that government officials are servants of the people rather than that the people are the disposable serfs and work animals of government. Now waiting for Bloomberg to make a statement that if civilian gun ownership were banned the officer would not then have felt a need to shoot in self-defense.

  4. As if I even needed another reason to never go to NYC. The part that scares me is that when my daufgter comes home from argentina her company is assigning her to NYC next.

  5. The NYPD strikes me as one of those agencies that makes people hate cops. Unless there are some extenuating circumstances, I want this NYPD officer in prison. I don’t want to get lumped into dirty shootings, and the public trust and the life of Noel Polanco deserve justice. A thorough and impartial investigation by either the NYPD or an allied agency, with appropriate punishments if warranted, would go a long way towards improving the reputation of the NYPD.

    Based on the NYPDs previous track record, I won’t be holding my breath. When I’m at the scene of an incident, I investigate the evidence and let the chips fall where they may. The TTAG advice of practicing to abstain from shooting is very solid. I’ve seen and investigated road rage incidents, and they usually end with and ADW, property damage, crash, or physical assault. The chances of a road rage ending in a justified shooting are pretty damn slim.

      • What would be really interesting? Getting a recording device on the off-duty cop who was asleep in the back seat – especially in his ear.

        This poor guy will be spend every waking moment until his deposition being reminded about his career, how valuable guys like him are, and what would his family do if something bad happened to him at work.

        Unless of course, somebody with more political juice has decided to eliminate this particular ‘goon squad’, in which case the off duty will be encouraged to testify honestly, and will be praised as a ‘hero’ rooting out those ‘few dishonest officers that tarnish the great NYPD badge’. Even then, penalties will be minor, since guys in these units always know way too much to be taken down hard.

        Welcome to office politics, big city style. Were it any more predictable…

        • According to the NY Times, the off duty officer was Vanessa Rodriguez, on restricted duty after being arrested for shoplifting.

          Not that this makes any of this any better. Unless something shocking comes out, like the deceased reached for the power drill found in the car and pointed it at the detective. If something like that had happened, though, it probably would have made the press release.

          My bet is that they claim he didn’t index his trigger finger and had an ND while pointing his weapon where he shouldn’t have been in the first place. Which also doesn’t make it any better. If this is the case, he will probably be looking at manslaughter charges.

        • Yeah, his gun ‘went off’… twice. Pigs are pigs.
          On the brighter side, Hugo Chavez said, “If I could run a police force in a big city, I would want to work in NYC. They understand the need for death squads!”

    • When you allow a department to police their own, there is no chance of an impartial investigation. Honestly, I woul have police investigated by the FBI, but I think this would be outside their jurisdiction.

    • The NYPD strikes me as one of those agencies that makes people hate cops.

      +1

      Opinion varies, but by and large New York City hates its cops. As a New York City lawyer, I didn’t hate cops, but I sure as hell didn’t trust them. On the other hand, the love affair between New York and its firefighters goes on unabated. New York adores its firefighters.

      The NYPD is often thought of as a bunch of aggressive, oppressive bullies. The FDNY is seen as an organization of life savers who serve their community extremely well, occasionally at great risk to their own lives. IMO, both opinions are correct.

      • Virginia Beach,Virginia hired a bunch of NYPD retreads a few years ago.Shootings by thugs with badges went up,as did vicious attacks on private citizens by these goons during patrols.Only when they got rid of these guys,and the ignorant chief who hired them,did things start to get to the normal lower level of violence by police.

  6. Yikes. NYPD just can’t seem to get their act together, can they?

    My prayers are with the Polanco family – what an awful feeling it must be that their son was killed by a COP.

  7. The problem with police brutality is not systemic. This is an isolated incident. The police officer was justified in his actions. There is no police brutality. Please stop paying attention to this stuff, hand over your gun and move along. All is well.

  8. Cops should be able to enter jewelry store, kill owners for reason “they’re not members of law enforcement” and take the gold and diamonds for themselves, after all, policemen are the only moral members of society, the rest of us are good at best for their target practice. This is becoming so extreme all over the 50 States, people are going to start viewing police as an invading, occupying hostile army.

  9. “DeFerrari, in a blistering statement tonight outside the Astoria nightclub where she worked with Polanco, accused the cops of killing him in “an act of road rage . . . because my friend cut off the police” without knowing they were NYPD officers.”

    Hey, sounds like an open-and-shut case of Contempt of Cop. That’s a clear death-penalty offense, and the police are authorized to investigate, apprehend, try, convict and execute anyone guilty of that offense. Saves a lot of time and money on such frivolities as arrest warrants, civil rights, fair trials, etc. The passengers are just lucky they weren’t executed as well, for being part of the conspiracy to diss a NYC cop.

    [Note to the irony-impaired: /sarc off/ ]

    Question: why would anyone with a functioning brain live in, or visit NYC?

  10. GUNS SHOULD BE BANNED IN NYC, and lets start with the Police,
    NYC Police have proved again that GUNS are dangerous in the hands of People who don’t know how to use them….

  11. Reading the story several things come to mind. 1) Jumpy, hyped up cop with no trigger discipline shouldn’t be in the field. 2) If found unjustified, he should be prosecuted, at least fired-shouldn’t they be held to as high a standard as anyone else? 3) It smells like a negligent discharge.

  12. This is when the media needs to do go and crucify the police officer. Pressure the City to ensure that this isn’t swept under the rug. The officer who performed the shooting should end up in prison with at least a manslaughter charge, if not murder. Furthermore, the City should be sued for this. Since New York effectively disallows firearms, the case should go pretty quick because the Cop has no excuse for the shooting. He can’t say “I thought he had a gun” and if he believed he had a knife, that cannot be an excuse because the guy was incapable of injuring the officer at a distance and had a barrier of a car door between them.

  13. If the National Guardsmen was driving so aggressively or whatever, howwas the off duty policeman still asleep in the backseat during all this?

    • I drive by LaGuardia where this took place all the time. The roadway has been under construction for many months (typical NYC construction milking the contract). As you can see from the concrete barriers in the photos. The place is a mess. The white lines are nearly invisible at times, they cross over older lines, and the traffic is merging at multiple points from 5 lanes to 3 or 2 depending on the night. So if someone got “cut off” it would not be out of the realm of possibility that it was unintentional. Just giving a little context here.

  14. Too bad the cop can’t be turned over to the Military Courts to be tried!!!
    Put one of them in Ft. Leavenworth and let it slip he is a civilian cop and see what happens!!
    Bet you when the rest of the NYPD finds out they would straighten up!!
    Unless Ft. L has gotten like civilian lockup!!!
    Got out of the Army in ’96 so lots could have changed!!!!

    • What would happen? Nothing. Brigs aren’t run like civilian prisons, and offenders in the brig aren’t your typical gang bangging gangsters either.

  15. It’s the reason the founders were against a large paid police force, they saw historically, they would become, in time, an enemy of the people and of their freedoms.
    The same for a large standing military.

    • ThomasR. – The founders couldn’t have been against a large paid police force, especially historically, because there were no such things at the time of the founding. It wasn’t until 1798 when the London Marine Police Force (later the Thames Division of the Metropolitan Police Service) was established. Police forces as we know them today didn’t become widespread until the mid-19th century.

    • Don’t forget “highly trained”! His highness the mayor always brags about how “highly trained” his police department is, and how we mere civilians will never be able to match the elite weapons skills of the NYPD. After all they shoot something like 50 rounds a year in their elite training. And apparently they like to usually shoot a similar amount at any opertunity they can on the street, but not in this case.

  16. Hey Bloomberg.. you runt bastard..

    If your cops were to shoot you to death in your car would it be OK too ?

    Funny this scumbag cop is also sporting a muslim moniker.. but of course that has nothing to do with his shooting a GI.. heavens no.

    Bloomberg and other scumbags like him have dirtied the name of NY’ers and around the world with their tyrannical tactics and communist ideology. They had a name for people like him in the camps.
    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=144090&start=45

    Yank lll

    • Yeah. I’m curious as to whether the NG victim was in uniform or had something on his vehicle that identified him as a soldier.

    • “This is why I’m cocked, locked, and ready to rock. I am sick and f-cking tired of tyrany!!!” – USMCVeteran

      Are you saying that you are prepared to and willing to fire BACK (key word: it is assuming that you have not instigated a confrontation) at a civilian law enforcement officer whether or not they are justified in their actions? I don’t want to put words into your mouth, I am just going off of what you had written, please correct me if I am wrong with my assessment.

      The Second Amendment was written to protect our right to participate in shooting sports, to hunt in order to feed ourselves/family/friends/homeless shelter/etc. or for sport, to defend ourselves/family/property/innocents against harm, and to stand up to government tyranny (if our government becomes tyrannical and destroys our freedoms). Please feel free to fill in any and all other protections the Second Amendment grants to us that I have missed. That said I would like to pose the following question to fellow TTAGer’s:

      If a civilian law enforcement officer fires a weapon at you, without apparent reason for doing so, would you fire back (assuming you are legally carrying a firearm) or would you allow this to happen with the hopes of winning a court case against said officer (assuming that you haven’t been killed)?

      In addendum to my main question, I would like to know where “the line” is for my fellow TTAGer’s. What is the breaking point? At what point would you believe it to be appropriate (if at all) to take up arms against a civilian law enforcement officer? What action do you think this situation dictates? How would you act in this scenario? If the Second Amendment permits you to defend yourself against tyranny (in this case against a tyrannical civilian law enforcement officer), would you be able to bring yourself to do so? If you did return fire in this scenario, what do you think the public opinion would be? How do you think you would be judged by a jury of your peers in a court case?

      These are not questions to be taken lightly, there are major consequences involving any action/inaction that is taken (by both parties) involved in this hypothetical confrontation.

      “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms….The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants” (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)

      “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — (Thomas Jefferson)

      We all know what our Founding Fathers have said about defending ourselves against government tyranny, but to physically apply this potentially lethal force against an officer of the law (whether or not their actions are justified) is easier said than done. Many of us (including me) have family/friends in the law enforcement community whom we know to be honorable and just, but as we all know, there are a few corrupt and dishonorable members within this same community. It is extremely difficult for anyone to even CONSIDER firing back at a civilian law enforcement official, NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE SITUATION MAY BE.

      I am not trying to offend any civilian law enforcement officers with my queries; I just want to see what my fellow TTAGer’s would do in this type of situation. After all, the Second Amendment protects our right to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government, but would you follow through with potentially lethal force against a supposed tyrannical member of law enforcement who is threatening your right to live?

      • You’ve asked valid questions for a discussion group, but ones that are not relevant for an actual deadly force confrontation. The simple truth is that if I am being assaulted with lethal intent I will use whatever means I have at my immediate disposal to end that assault as quickly as possible. I believe that this will almost certainly mean shooting and killing my assailant before he kills me. It matters not who that assailant is or what the circumstances of that assault are. If, as you propose, it is a cop trying to kill me you can bet your last dollar that I will do my best to kill him first.

      • That is one tough question and situation to be in. A lot would depend on the circumstances. If I out on a public street and can clearly see he/she is a police officer and they are shooting at me? I’d probably hesitate, raise my hands in surrender and try to identify myself as a good guy which would in all honesty probably get me killed within 2 seconds. If my brain is working, fast enough, I’d try diving for cover and still try to identify myself as a “non-combatant” and probably still get killed. My point being that it would be VERY difficult for me to shoot back at a police officer without trying something else if in my mind, he has mistaken me for someone else.

        Next scenerio, if I see a police officer shooting someone execution style in the street, say a person on his knees, hands above his head with fingers interlocked, and the cop’s body language and words he is saying strongly indicate that he is going to shoot him in the back of the head, I’d shoot the cop. Some of the situations I heard of in New Orleans where police where police were shooting or beating people for the “crime” of being black? I’m shooting the cop.

        Next scenerio, a situation like the shooting in front of the Empire State building where multiple cops are blazing away willynilly, I’m diving for the ground and using my body to shield my family. Shooting back only guarantees that I die as well as my family and possibly 5 or 6 other people in my general area.

  17. Far be it from me to Stick up for the Gestapo, but the Off -duty PO was caught shop lifting. NO?

    Me thinks you all should STFU till the Official Propaganda is released.

    And I HATE THE POLICE, but Men of Honor, real Cops many a time took my dad out when he beat the Shit out of me and Mom.
    I remember a Day when he took on 4-6 of them , They said he was one tough SOB but they got Him and through him in the Tank.
    Now a days the Pussies would shoot him or throw him in jail for Assaulting the Gestapo.
    May GOD alway protect and Love His Own. You men know who I mean.

    Gave him a right thorough beating Knowing Mom would do the Stupid.
    Those Men are gone and the standards Lowered for the Commies.

  18. If the police start to shoot at you for no reason, what are you supposed to do? Your supposed to DIE. Get used to it.

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