Now, his mother is speaking out, asking why her son had to die.
"I'm going to continue to make sure that his name does not get taken down by mud," Cecilia Reyes said. "They took him from me, and this is not going to stay like this. They're not going to make my son out to be the bad guy, because he's not."
Minutes before the shooting, surveillance video recorded Polanco and friends leaving the Ice Bar in Astoria. Investigators say Polanco got onto the parkway and began weaving in and out of lanes.
Dianne DiFerrari was in the passenger seat when she says Polanco cut off two unmarked police cars. She says one of them pulled up next to their Honda, and one man began screaming obscenities through her open window.
When they pulled over, she she says heavily armed men surrounded them. She says she had no idea they were officers until she heard the pop of the shot that killed her friend.
"He was shot intentionally, no doubt in my mind," she said. "Because there was no reason to even have your guns drawn the way they did. All you had to do was pull him over, ask him for his freaking license and registration and take him to jail. There was no reason for this innocent kid to be killed."
The officer who was involved in the shooting has been identified as 39-year-old Hassam Handy, who has been on the force for quite some time.
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