Police Misconduct: New Rochelle Police Officer Case Study

An off-duty cop acted out of anger while trying to arrest a suspect in New Rochelle, NY. Officer Michael Vaccaro was driven by the desire to punish the criminal Malik Fogg; however, he used too much force, pushing Fogg’s face against the sidewalk (Bandler, 2022). While two other cops were trying to de-escalate the situation, Vaccaro got enraged (Bandler, 2022). Beforehand, Fogg noticed Vaccaro filming him on a cellphone and asked to stop recording, not knowing he was a police officer. Nonetheless, the cop’s actions were unjustified and posed safety issues. Currently, the cop is facing three months in jail and is suspended for at least thirty days.

Vaccaro’s actions were not constitutional violations but contradicted the safety standards. The suspect did not aggressively; hence, no force should have been applied. Nevertheless, acting out of rage, the police officer could have murdered Fogg if no other cops were on site. In addition, their fight threatened the citizens who were passing by (Bandler, 2022). It is also a safety concern since no other people should be involved. Especially considering that the charge occurred on the side of the road, it would be more difficult if there were other accidents.

If a police officer is off-duty, they still can control criminal activity, use force and weapons, and arrest suspects. However, excessive violence is prohibited since it may lead one into custody. In this case, Vaccaro should not have behaved aggressively so as to punish Fogg. It would have been more efficient to have an interrogation and arrest if necessary. As a result, while arresting, it is indispensable to act out of right rather than out of emotions.


Bandler, J. (2022). Trial begins for New Rochelle police officer caught on video punching suspect. Lohud.