YONKERS, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — June 23, 2021 —On behalf of the more than 4,000 law enforcement officers that comprise the Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester (APA), I condemn Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah’s outrageous decision to charge New Rochelle Police Detective Michael Vaccaro with Attempted Assault 3. Sadly, Det. Vaccaro has been caught in the crossfire of an agenda-driven District Attorney and a politicized criminal justice system.
In her misleading and inflammatory CNN Op-Ed, written months ago, D.A. Rocah ominously wrote about “vigorously pursuing” the prosecution of police officers, specifically those involved in “off-duty road rage incidents.” It is clear that her mind was made up months ago and that the decision to charge Det. Vaccaro was not based on any true “evaluation of the evidence,” as the District Attorney’s Office claims.
In fact, Rocah’s office made NO attempt to interview Det. Vaccaro. This ridiculous decision contradicts the most basic tenets of conducting a true, fair and impartial investigation.
At the same time of her Op-Ed, D.A. Rocah Tweeted “Let’s go” in referencing the prosecution of police officers. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the same vigor from the D.A. when discussing the prosecution of violent gang members, sex offenders or any other actual criminals.
Det. Vaccaro’s actions in dealing with a violent and aggressive suspect were clearly justified and reasonable. This statement is supported by video evidence and eyewitness testimony. The decision to arrest this decorated, veteran police officer was disgraceful and only works to undermine a crucial relationship between police officers and the prosecutor’s office. Recklessly damaging this much-needed partnership while violent crime is skyrocketing throughout New York State, and the country, is frustratingly dangerous.
We look forward to the full vindication and exoneration of New Rochelle Police Det. Michael Vaccaro. In the meantime, police officers from every corner of our county will continue to risk their lives while protecting our communities.
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Det. Keith Olson, President, Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester and Yonkers Police Benevolent Association
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