Hassan Hamdy, the detective who shot an unarmed Latino, is still on the job and entitled to his pension because the NYPD has not even slapped him with a punishment.
While a Grand Jury questionably decided not to indict Hamdy in the fatal shooting last October of National Guardsman Noel Polanco, the NYPD could have still taken disciplinary action.
Incredibly, it has not. And this is more shocking considering the situations that have resulted in officers at least being suspended.
In August 2010, an officer was suspended because he didn’t know how to administer CPR. In March 2013, another officer was suspended for punching his three-year-old son. Later that same month, a drunken police officer discharged his weapon in the air and was also suspended.
But Hamdy gets to report into work, collect his check and wear a badge as Polanco’s family continues to mourn the son they had to bury.
That the NYPD didn’t and won’t act internally to discipline one of its “unfinest” is outrageous and it sends a terrible message.
What standard is Commissioner Ray Kelly using to penalize members of the Department who fire their guns in the air, yet, on the other hand, not doing anything about a detective who turned a traffic incident into a shooting death?
Because of the surging controversy around the practice of stop-question-and-frisk, which has chipped away at trust among black and Latino youth, it is even more troubling that there are no repercussions in a case of reckless violence. On top of this, the lack of transparency in the department’s internal procedures has prompted many leaders and organizations to call for the creation of an inspector general’s office to monitor the NYPD.
In some cases, public pressure has resulted in accountability for cops who dishonor their badge. But the outcome in the Polanco case shows that there is much work to be done.
The time to do that work is now before another Noel Polanco becomes a victim of an unnecessary police bullet.