Family of man paralyzed in New Haven police custody hires civil rights attorney Ben Crump
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – The family of a man paralyzed in New Haven police custody has hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
Crump has worked on some high-profile cases including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery.
Crump and the family of Richard Cox spoke on the steps of New Haven Superior Court Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Cox, known to family and friends as Randy, was partially paralyzed while being transported by police following a gun arrest on Father’s Day.
Cox was placed in a transport van, but while in route to the police lock up, the driver slammed on his brakes to avoid an accident.
That’s when Cox went flying, slamming his head into the back of the van which did not have seatbelts.
Once at the detention center, officers pulled Cox out of the van by his feet, processed him in a wheelchair and then dragged him into a holding cell.
Five officers are now on paid leave while the Connecticut state police investigate their handling of the incident.
Cox’s family said he remains in intensive care after two surgeries.
They said he is paralyzed from the chest down, adding doctors are hopeful but not optimistic.
“He has the breathing tubes in, feeding tubes in. He can’t talk. He can kind of nod his head yes or no, he can move his left arm, that’s about it,” said Latoya Boomer, Cox’s sister.
“Randy Cox is lying in that hospital bed, paralyzed from his chest down because of the actions and the inactions of the New Haven Police Department,” said Crump.
Cox’s legal team says they will be filing a lawsuit against the city within the next 60 days.
His family along with the NAACP held a community forum Tuesday.
Dozens of people showed up to the Stetson Branch Library to discuss what the plan is moving forward. The family wants criminal accountability, civil justice, and policy changes.
“You can see his head bobbing around and you are just throwing him around, dragging him around. Saying ‘oh well if you wanted to get on the bed you can get there.’ He said he can’t move,” says Latoya Boomer.
Attorney Ben Crump also attended the community forum. He says he visited the hospital and met Cox for the first time earlier on Tuesday.
“Even though he can hardly move anything from his chest down, he could communicate by blinking his eyes and moving his head and sadly, by crying tears,” says Crump.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, the Acting Police Chief, and the Assistant Police chief showed up and spoke at the forum.
“I want justice for Randy as well. We are going to work hard to make changes. I didn’t watch the video once. I watched it twenty times to remind me what I have to do with this police department,” says Acting Chief Karl Jacobson.
The family attorney says Cox was not a convicted felon. Channel 3 reached out tot he city to clarify, but they say they need more information from the state attorney.
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