Mother of Man Killed by Police: ‘I Want No Cover Up; I Want Answers’

The mother of an unarmed man who was fatally shot by a police detective after being pulled over on a highway in Queens made a tearful plea on Saturday for a full and thorough inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the shooting of her son, Noel Polanco.

“I’m not going to give up until I get justice,” the mother, Cecilia Reyes, told a crowd of a few hundred at the offices of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem. “I want justice. I want no cover up; I want answers,” she said as Mr. Sharpton stood alongside her.

Mr. Polanco, 22, was driving on the Grand Central Parkway just after 5 a.m. on Thursday when he was pulled over by uniformed members of the Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit, who were riding in unmarked vans. They said that he had twice cut them off.

The officers, who had been on their way to execute a search warrant in Brooklyn, rushed toward the car “like an army,” said one of Mr. Polanco’s passengers, Diane Deferrari. A second passenger, an off-duty police officer named Vanessa Rodriguez, was asleep in the back seat.

As the officers surrounded Mr. Polanco’s car, they shouted for those inside to show their hands, Ms. Deferrari said, adding that Mr. Polanco’s hands were on the steering wheel of his black Honda. A moment later a detective, Hassan Hamdy, 39, fired a single shot that struck Mr. Polanco in the abdomen and killed him, the authorities said.

On Friday evening, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly visited Ms. Reyes at her home.

Mr. Sharpton said on Saturday morning that he and others supported her call for a full investigation and an explanation of what happened.

“This is about what is right and what is fair,” he said. “For unarmed innocent people to be killed is wrong, and it has got to stop.”

Wearing a black T-shirt bearing a likeness of Mr. Polanco, Ms. Reyes paused several times to wipe her eyes, while telling the crowd that her son, an Army reservist, had wanted to become a police officer.

“We want to believe in the law,” she said. “We don’t want to have to be afraid of the law.”

Chistopher Maag contributed reporting.

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