Demand Justice for Unarmed 22-Year-Old Gunned Down by New York Police

Target: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly

Goal: Fire the police officer who shot an unarmed 22-year-old dead at a traffic stop and see that he is prosecuted by the proper authorities

Noel Polanco, a 22-year-old national guardsman, was recently killed during a traffic stop in New York City. It is reported that police officers pulled his vehicle over because they claim Polanco was driving erratically. As the officers approached the vehicle they say Noel reached under his seat, and that’s when Detective Hassan Hamby fired one round into Polanco’s chest, claiming he thought Polanco was reaching for a firearm. Diane DeFerrari was in the passenger seat when the officer fired and she claims that Polanco had both hands on the steering wheel when he was shot. Officers later searched the vehicle and found no weapons. Reckless officers like this need to be off the streets. Help urge those in power to make an example of officer Hamby, and see that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

At his funeral, Polanco was posthumously promoted to sergeant, a promotion that his commanding officer said was for outstanding accomplishments and service. His family spoke of his angelic nature at the service, and Rev. Al Sharpton gave the eulogy. It seems hard to fathom that someone of Polanco’s character wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt by the officers who pulled him over. The shoot first mentality needs to be weeded out of the NYPD and police departments everywhere in America. The cost is simply too high.

Let’s urge New York’s authorities to ensure this officer does not go unpunished. An example must be made of Detective Hamby to send a message to all other would-be shoot first police officers that reckless actions like this will not be tolerated. Unarmed innocent people should not die because they are suspected of carrying weapons, and people should not fear for their lives when in the presence of police officers. Help us make sure tragedies like this become a thing of the past.


Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly,

We are writing because the news of Noel Polanco’s death has both saddened and infuriated us, and we are looking to you to make sure this sort of tragic death at the hands of the New York Police Department does not ever happen again. The young man killed by Detective Hamby was a member of the national guard, not a gang member or drug dealer. He stood for honor, loyalty and commitment to protecting his fellow citizens: the same things police officers are supposed to uphold and represent.

There is no excuse or rationalization to justify an unarmed man being gunned down by police. It is simply unacceptable, and we will not rest until there is justice for this young man, and until there is finally real accountability for police officers who cross the line and commit crimes against the citizens they are supposed to be protecting. Please help make sure this young man’s death will be part of the change that prevents further tragedies like this one from every happening again.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit by Dennis Mojado via

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