NYPD detective thought Army reservist he fatally shot had gun

Detective Hamdy twice yelled "Police!"

By Colin Moynihan and Wendy Ruderman
The New York Times Blogs (City Room)

NEW YORK — The lawyer for Hassan Hamdy, who killed an unarmed motorist in Queens on Thursday, said the detective fired because he believed that the driver was reaching for a weapon.

Detective Hassan Hamdy made the split-second decision to fire a single fatal shot at an unarmed motorist during an early morning traffic stop on a highway in Queens because he thought the driver was reaching for a gun, according to the detective's lawyer.

The driver, Noel Polanco, 22, did not comply with Detective Hamdy's orders to put his hands up, instead reaching "down in a quick motion, down on the floor of the car," said the lawyer representing the detective, Philip Karasyk.

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