Officials: Connecticut man paralyzed while in police custody

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Officials say a Connecticut man is now paralyzed after he hit his head while handcuffed in police custody on June 19.

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According to NBC News, five officers are under investigation after a man who was handcuffed in a police van hit his head and is now paralyzed.

The man, identified as Richard “Randy” Cox, 36, was arrested on June 19 for criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and other additional charges, according to NBC News . On Wednesday, a video was released by the New Haven Police Department that showed Cox being transported after his arrest and sliding across a bench in the back of the van after it stopped suddenly.

In a news release, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the van that Cox was transported in was not “outfitted with seat belts” and Cox had suffered serious injuries to his neck and spine. Cox told the officers that he was hurt and could not move, so the officer called for medical assistance at the detention center they were taking him to. Elicker said that officers tried to process Cox when they arrived and attempted to put him in a wheelchair to move him. Cox was eventually taken to a hospital where he had surgery but learned that he was paralyzed and was in critical condition.

Having watched the video footage of this incident multiple times, I am deeply concerned by the way in which Mr. Cox was treated, transported and handled by the officers involved in this incident at the detention center. The State Police and New Haven Police Department are conducting full investigations, and we will await their outcome, but I want to emphasize that regardless of what an individual is accused of or arrested for, when they enter the custody of the New Haven Police Department there is an obligation to treat them with dignity and respect – and in a manner that ensures their safety and well-being. I am also concerned that the actions of the officers involved in this incident fell far short of that and do not reflect the high standards to which I know other police officers hold themselves to every day as they put their lives on the line to protect and serve our residents and to keep us safe,” said Mayor Elicker in a news release.

According to the Associated Press, the video that AP posted on June 22, showed officers dragging Cox out of the van by his feet before getting him into the wheelchair. Cox was booked, taken out of the wheelchair, and dragged into a cell where he was left on the floor until paramedics arrived. Cox’s attorney, Ben Crump, who also represented George Floyd’s family, said that Cox was accused of lying and officers told him to get up. However, Cox was unable to due to his injuries.

According to WVIT on Tuesday evening, the town hall was filled with residents of New Haven, elected officials and several organizations, including the NAACP, to support the Cox family. Newly nominated New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson and Mayor Elicker spoke, as did Cox’s attorney, according to WVIT. Crump spoke with Cox for the first time on Tuesday and said that Cox can’t move his body from the chest down. Cox now communicates through blinking.

Cox remains in the hospital, according to WVIT. The Connecticut State Police are investigating and the New Haven police are cooperating, according to NBC News. The investigation remains ongoing.



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