The unarmed man shot and killed by NYPD officers during a traffic stop yesterday was a member of the New York Army National Guard who—irony alert—had long hoped to join the NYPD. "That was his dream," his mother tells the New York Daily News. "All he wanted to do was go to the military … and then continue his career as an officer." Noel Polanco, 22, was shot in Queens yesterday at around 5:20 am, after police pulled him over for allegedly driving erratically.
Police say Polanco reached under his seat as they approached, prompting Detective Hassam Hamdy to shoot him in the stomach, the Huffington Post reports. But a passenger in the car told police Polanco never reached for anything, and describes the killing as "an act of road rage," saying Polanco accidentally cut off the police. They "proceeded to chase us, sticking their middle finger at us and screaming obscenities at the car," she tells the New York Post. There was another passenger in Polanco's car as well: an off-duty NYPD officer who had been drinking. She was asleep in the back when the shots were fired.