The family of Noel Polanco, the 22-year-old National Guardsmen shot and killed by a police detective during a traffic stop in October, plans to sue the city for $20 million, according to their lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.
A grand jury declined to indict Detective Hassan Hamdy, who said he thought the victim was reaching for a weapon under the driver's seat as he approached the car. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced the grand jury's decision on Feb. 14.
A wrongful death notice of claim against the city and Hamdy was filed by Polanco's family on Feb. 21. A jury will decide how much the family can ask for in their lawsuit, Rubenstein said. However, the claim asks for $20 million.
"Mrs. Reyes believes that this detective, Detective Hamdy, should be held accountable for the wrongful death of her son," Rubenstein told the Queens Chronicle.
Although a grand jury decided not to move forward with the case the burden of proof shifts from the state to the plaintiff in a civil case. The family is also asking the U.S. Attorney's office to investigate the case on the federal level.
Polanco's mother, Cecilia Reyes, who lives in Corona, has been publicly seeking justice for her son since his death. She met with Rev. Al Sharpton last weekend and will again rally with the reverend on Saturday at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.
A facebook page, RIP Noel Polanco, has 1,033 supporters.