In the face of local PBA Presidents attacking the District Attorney, more and more elected officials and community leaders are issuing statements in support of DA Mimi Rocah decision to charge NRPD Officer Michael Vaccaro with Attempted Assault.
On Friday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman issued the following statement on police violence in New Rochelle:
“When we discuss violence in our community, we must include the violence inflicted on citizens at the hands of the police in that discussion. We need a culture in law enforcement that values de-escalation and views physical violence as a tool of last resort. It’s just not acceptable for any police officer, on duty or not, to physically assault a pedestrian. While the responding on-duty officers acted appropriately to restrain Officer Michael Vaccaro, his actions while acting as a civilian were unacceptable. That sentiment was echoed by the New Rochelle Police Department’s subsequent suspension of Officer Vaccaro and the ensuing referral to District Attorney Mimi Rocah’s office. To that end, I am in full support of District Attorney Rocah as she carries out her duty to Westchester County.”
“Police have a place in our community, but that place isn’t to act as vigilantes when they are off the clock. Video footage of the incident in question shows that Officer Vaccaro was acting in anger, in rage, and not in the interest of the law or our greater community. If any member of our district acted in that same manner, they would be facing the same charges that Officer Vaccaro is facing today.”
“Officer Vaccaro will have his opportunity to make his case to a court, and have a decision made accordingly. I look forward to his cooperation as the case proceeds.”
County Legislator Damon Maher, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc. (NABLEO) and the Westchester Coalition For Police Reform (WCPR) have also issued statements of their own in support of DA Rocah.
See video of incident courtesy of Talk Of The Sound below
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story.