New Rochelle detective acquitted of criminal charges has more than a dozen disciplinary records

Michael Vaccaro was acquitted of criminal charges that stemmed from an incident caught on camera in 2021 in which he is seen punching and kicking Mount Vernon resident Malik Fogg, who was being detained by police.

Nadia Galindo

Aug 12, 2022, 9:28 PM

Updated 611 days ago

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News 12 is learning more about a New Rochelle detective some community members would like to see fired from the force.
Michael Vaccaro was acquitted of criminal charges that stemmed from an incident caught on camera in 2021 in which he is seen punching and kicking Mount Vernon resident Malik Fogg, who was being detained by police.            
Malik Fogg has filed a federal lawsuit against Vaccaro, New Rochelle police and the city.
News 12 filed a Freedom of Information Law request that resulted in stack of documents that detail his disciplinary record at the New Rochelle Police Department.
The 17-year department veteran has more than a dozen complaints that show he’s been disciplined for everything from failure to appear for scheduled trials and minor motor vehicle accidents.
A complaint in February 2020 shows Vaccaro got into an argument with a Child Protective Services worker while on duty.
The worker had parked blocking his home's driveway. Documents show Vaccaro called the woman explicative and threatened violence.
“That is concerning for a police department that an officer is using inappropriate language possibly making threats against civilians,” said Keith Taylor, an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former assistant commissioner of the NYPD who News 12 asked to review the documents for context.  "When you are a police officer, regardless of what capacity, if you are on duty, you're off duty, you are required to maintain a level of respect and not allow your emotions to get the best of you."
Vaccaro had to undergo training and lost two leave days for the incident.
He was also disciplined for deliberately cutting seat belts in a prison bus, failing to notify parents after finding a highly intoxicated juvenile in need of medical attention, and received a 10-day suspension for failing to provide backup to another officer on a call and making false statements.

“I would say that most police officers do not end up with such serious charges and a 10-day suspension, that is the exception rather than the rule,” said Taylor.
News 12 spoke to New Rochelle Police Benevolent Association attorney Warren Roth, who said these documents do not summarize Vaccaro’s career in law enforcement.
"Most occurred over 10 years ago,” Roth said.
At the same time, Vaccaro has been recognized by the department 31 times.
"You are talking about 17 years of service. He doesn't have a single bias-related complaint up until now,” said Roth. “He doesn't have any excessive force complaints up until now."
It’s unclear when the New Rochelle Police Department will complete its investigation or whether Vaccaro will be policing the community again.


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