Funeral for unarmed police shooting victim - New York News

Funeral for unarmed police shooting victim

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NEW YORK (AP) -- An Army National Guardsman shot by New York City police was honored with a posthumous promotion Friday.

Noel Polanco's battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Freehart, read the proclamation at Polanco's funeral before a standing-room-only crowd of about 300 mourners at Eternal Love Baptist Church in Queens. Ushers passed out tissues as people sobbed.

"The Army made you a sergeant," the Rev. Sharpton said in the eulogy. "God's going to give you your wings."

Polanco, 22, was unarmed when police pulled him over for a traffic violation on Oct. 4 near LaGuardia Airport. A lawyer for the detective has said Polanco did not comply with orders to put his hands up and reached for something under his seat. Polanco's front-seat passenger has disputed that account.

Sharpton suggested that police had profiled Polanco, saying: "When you saw him, you saw a gang member. Well, his gang was the U.S. Army."

Polanco's mother, Cecilia Reyes, met with Queens District Attorney Richard Brown on Thursday. Brown said he told Reyes that he expects to present the case to a grand jury.

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