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Hundreds March New Haven Streets, Demand Change for Man Paralyzed in Police Custody

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Marching down the streets of New Haven, hundreds came out chanting and holding signs. They made their way down to the New Haven Police Department for Randy Cox.

“This shouldn’t happen to anyone. No one. I don’t care what they do, what they say, how they act. This shouldn’t happen at all,” said Doreen Coleman, Cox’s mom.

Coleman said her son is still unable to speak and unable to move from the chest down. Family FaceTime' d with Cox, who is still in the hospital. They showed him how many came out to rally on his behalf.

“We’re here for you, and we’re going to get you the justice that you deserve,” said Taeniajha Pullen, who didn’t know Cox but came out to show support.

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Cox became seriously injured after a sudden stop in the back of a police van. Video shows officers dragging him at the detention center after he said he was hurt and couldn’t move.

“Now we’re here at the police department, and we want to leave a message with them. It’s real simple. If I say my neck is broke, don’t take it as a joke,” said Ben Crump, the Cox family attorney.

Crump said they met with the U.S. Department of Justice to demand a civil rights investigation. New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said if that ends up happening, they’ll fully cooperate.

Family members say they want the officers involved fired and arrested. The mayor and police chief attended the rally.

The mayor said that the investigations need to happen and that he believes there will be accountability. This week, the department made several policy changes to address what happened, and the mayor said there’s a lot more work they need to do.

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“It's about how to change culture in the police department so we eliminate cynicism, that we eliminate the kind of callousness that I believe I saw in those videos. And that's about how we hire people into the police department, hiring more people from our community. That's about ensuring the culture through training, through giving the officers the tools they need to intervene when another officer may not be making the right decisions. And it's about accountability,” Elicker said.

Cox’s family said they’re thankful for the show of support and that Cox is grateful, too.

“The family of Randy Cox is not alone in demanding justice,” Crump said.

“This is for Randy. Even people that don’t know him, they know him now,” Coleman said.

There is an ongoing state criminal investigation into what happened. Once that’s complete, the police department’s internal investigation will continue.

All the officers involved in the incident are on paid leave.

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