Army reservist Noel Polanco (pictured) was shot dead by NYPD officers early Thursday after they pulled him over on the highway near LaGuardia Airport, the New York Daily News reports.
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Polanco was not armed and no gun was found in his car. Just a four-volt Ryobi power drill he used at the local Honda dealership where he worked.
“What’s so bad about a drill?” Polanco’s mom, Cecilia Reyes, told the Daily News. “What could he have done with a drill, honestly?”
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The tragic shooting took place Thursday morning when police pulled him over because they claim that he was driving erratically and refused to stop. The two Emergency Service Unit vehicles that were chasing him were unmarked. Polanco was driving co-worker Diane DeFerrari and an off-duty NYPD officer, Vanessa Rodriguez, home at the time his car was stopped.
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When the chase ended, cops allegedly asked everyone in the car to put their hands up. The cop who fired the deadly bullet, identified by the Daily News as Detective Hassan Hamdy, shot Polanco through an open window on the passenger side.
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DeFerrari told the newspaper that cops killed Polanco in an act of “pure road rage” because he cut them off on the road.
“Noel didn’t have a chance to put his hands up,” said DeFerrari, a mother of three. “They screamed, ‘Put your hands up!’ and shot at the same time. “
The sad part of this tragedy is that his grieving mother said that her son wanted to be a cop someday. The Daily News has more:
“That was his dream,” Cecilia Reyes of Queens told the Daily News. “All he wanted to do was go to the military, continue his career in the military, and then continue his career as an officer.”
“That’s why he went into the Army,” baby sister Amanda Reyes chimed in. “He always wanted to be a cop.”
Polanco enlisted in the Army Reserves six months ago and “there wasn’t a bad bone in his body,” she added.
“He was my oldest brother,” the 15-year-old said. “He always had time to sit with me and talk it through.”
Polanco was her rock when her father committed suicide three months ago, she said.
“It’s hard,” Amanda Reyes said. “I lost everything now. My father and now my brother … I lost my world.”
Polanco’s mom is now consulting a lawyer and planning a benefit for her slain son on Sunday at the Ice Lounge in Astoria, the Queens nightspot where he worked.
“It hurts. He was just innocent,” the grieving sister said. “We just want justice.”
Polanco had no police record and enlisted in the Army Reserves just six months ago.