The family of a National Guardsman shot and killed by an NYPD officer on the Grand Central Parkway last year, made their first public appearance since being awarded a $2.5 million settlement from the city. The family says Noel Polanco has still not received justice. NY1’s Erin Clarke filed the following report.
The words of the National Action Network motto, “No justice, no peace,” may have added significance for Cecilia Reyes, the mother Noel Polanco.
Polanco, a 22-year-old National Guardsman, died in October 2012 after NYPD Detective, Hasan Hamdy, fired into Polanco's car thinking he was reaching for a gun.
A gun was never found.
Hamdy still has his badge and a grand jury cleared him of any charges.
"I'm really hurt that my son didn't get his justice through the criminal side or the federal side. We got part justice,” said mother Cecilia Reyes.
Part justice because while Hamdy was not indicted, the city has agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with Polanco's mother.
"An acknowledgement to her of wrongdoing," said Sanford Rubenstein, the Polanco family’s attorney.
But it's not over.
Reyes is not settling for just what was awarded in the civil case. She's requesting that hearings be held regarding Hamdy position on the force.
"I want this man fired. He doesn't belong in the street, he doesn't belong with a gun, he doesn't belong walking those streets and hurting another family like he did to mine and I feel that they should fire him,” she said.
"The question is, given what happened here, should he still be on the street with a gun and I think the answer the community is giving is a resounding no. This police officer should be removed from the force and appropriate proceedings to do that so should be enacted by the NYPD," said Rubenstein.
Reyes says she, her family and their lawyer made the announcement that the fight continues at the National Action Network headquarters Saturday, because the organization has stood with them, as if they were family, from the beginning.
"It means a lot because at least I know that I have someone supporting my family,” said Reyes.
Support Reverend Sharpton promises because he says Reyes's fight is everyone's.
"We as an organization is going to stand with her because she has stood up for her son, which stands up for all of us," said Sharpton.