NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he wants to see a formal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Noel Polanco, 22, during a traffic stop last week on the Grand Central Parkway.
Kelly refused Monday to say whether the shooting of the unarmed driver was justified.
WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports
“It will require what I believe to be a grand jury investigation to determine precisely what happened there,” Kelly told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.
A lawyer said NYPD Det. Hassan Hamdy, who fatally shot Polanco last week, is looking forward to telling his version of events.
Hamdy’s attorney told CBS 2, “We’ll cooperate with the grand jury and the detective is looking forward to relating his version of events.”
Police said Polanco was shot after he was pulled over for driving erratically and cutting off an unmarked Emergency Services Unit vehicle.
Hamdy fired through the passenger window, striking Polanco, as he allegedly lunged for something under the seat. But the woman sitting next to Polanco strongly disputed the driver did anything threatening.
However, Hamdy’s attorney said the 14-year veteran “felt threatened and was left with no other alternative other than the actions that he took.”
“Hamdy feels very badly for (Polanco’s) family and is distressed that this occurred,” the detective’s lawyer said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told CBS 2 he’ll consider sending the case to a grand jury, but said the investigation will take some time before he’s ready to make that call.
Meanwhile, a memorial was held Sunday night for Polanco.
Friends left flowers and candles outside The Lounge in Astoria where they gathered to raise money for his funeral.
Now, Polanco’s family is struggling to make ends meet.
“He had three jobs, he was the only provider so to speak for his family. It was only him, his mom and his little sister left,” friend Nelson DeRosa said.
Hamdy said he will not talk to the NYPD’s top brass about the incident until the Queens DA finishes his investigation.
Kelly said the other officers on the scene have been interviewed but Hamdy has not, in keeping with protocol.