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Family Of National Guardsman Shot Dead By Police Files Lawsuit Against City

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TWC News: Family Of National Guardsman Shot Dead By Police Files Lawsuit Against City
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Family members of Noel Polanco, a Army National Guardsman who was shot dead during a traffic stop, announced Wednesday that they have filed a $20 million notice of claim to file a lawsuit against the city, the New York City Police Department and the officer who fired the shot that killed Polanco. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Members of the family of police shooting victim Noel Polanco said it's still hard for them to accept last week's grand jury decision not to indict Detective Hassan Hamdy, who shot the unarmed National Guardsman to death.

"I want him without a job," said Cecilia Reyes, Polanco's mother. "I'm calling on the commissioner. I want this cop out of the street. I don't want to see him hurt anyone else."

It was back in October on the Grand Central Parkway when Emergency Service Unit officers pulled Polanco's car over for what they said was erratic driving. Detective Hamdy said he thought Polanco was reaching for a gun when he shot and killed him. No gun was in the car.

Now, the family's attorney is hitting the city and the detective with a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit.

"There's no evidence whatsoever of a gun being in the car," said Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer for Polanco's family. "We look forward to deposing this detective during the civil proceedings under oath with regard to what happened in this tragedy.

In addition to the lawsuit, the family is also asking for the U.S. Attorney's office to look into the case.

"Now that the state system of criminal justice has been exhausted, it's appropriate, if the federal government were to be involved, for them to open up an investigation," Rubenstein said. "And that's what we are asking for. We're asking for the feds to open in a criminal investigation with regard to the the issue of federal civil rights violations."

The U.S. Attorney's office would not comment on the case.

The NYPD is expected to continue its own investigation as to what happened.

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