New Haven

Family of Man Paralyzed in New Haven Police Custody Calls for Justice

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The man seriously injured while being transported by New Haven police earlier this month is paralyzed from the chest down, according to attorney Benjamin Crump.

Richard (Randy) Cox was injured when his head slammed into the wall of a police van when the officer driving maneuvered to avoid a crash in the area of Division Street and Mansfield Street on June 19.

He underwent surgery on his neck and remains on a ventilator and a feeding tube, according to his family.

Cox was arrested after police were called to Lilac Street on a weapons complaint. He was put in handcuffs and placed in the back of a police van that did not have seatbelts.

"Justice for Randy, justice for Randy, justice for Randy," the crowd chanted during a rally held in New Haven Tuesday.

On Cox's legal team is Crump, the attorney who represented George Floyd's family. He joined the 36-year-old's legal team and family in New Haven, providing an update on his health condition.

Crump said Cox is paralyzed because of the "actions and inactions taken by the New Haven Police Department" while he was being transported in a detention van.

"Why didn't the New Haven police officers believe Randy Cox when he said, 'I can't move.' Why did they mock him? Why did they say, ‘you are not even trying?’ Why didn’t they follow the policies when he stopped and he said, ‘I can’t move,'" Crump said.

Crump is asking the police department to release all evidence and further information regarding police policies within the department.

Mayor Justin Elicker held a news conference just moments after, saying they've released all footage from the incident and are working to be transparent.

"The entire body came from Officer [Oscar] Diaz, from when he started driving the vehicle to the detention center. If there is any other information that comes available to us, we prioritize transparency because it is the right thing to do and we think it's very very important [that] we release information," Elicker said.

Five police officers have been placed on paid leave while an investigation is conducted into their actions following the incident.

Acting Police Chief Regina Rush-Kittle said it appeared some officers did not follow department protocols in handling an injured person who is in custody.

Diaz, who was driving the van, did not follow a department policy that requires officers to call for medical assistance and wait for paramedics when someone is in distress in a police vehicle, according to Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson.

Body camera video from several officers shows Cox telling officers at the detention facility that he couldn't move.

Officers placed him into a wheelchair and pulled him up when he slumped over, the video showed. Cox was placed in a holding cell before paramedics arrived to provide medical care.

Diaz was placed on paid leave, as were Sgt. Betsy Segui, Officer Ronald Pressley, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier, and Officer Luis Rivera, who all worked at the detention facility and were involved with handling Cox.

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