Those who knew Noel Polanco best, from his family to his fellow soldiers, packed the Eternal Love Baptist Church to say goodbye.
The Army National Guardsman was fatally shot on the Grand Central Parkway by an Emergency Service Unit detective during an Oct. 4 traffic stop. He was posthumously promoted to sergeant during his funeral service.
While the public may only know Polanco as the casualty of a controversial police shooting, family and friends remembered him as a soldier and car enthusiast who worked hard for his family. Some friends wore T-shits with his picture. Others donned sweatshirts with his nickname and the message: “R.I.P. Sparxxz”
The 22-year-old was eulogized by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who demanded justice for Polanco’s family. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has called for a grand jury investigation into the shooting.