Charges dropped for man paralyzed while in New Haven police custody
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A New Haven man who was left paralyzed while in police custody had all his charges dropped, according to court officials.
Randy Cox was paralyzed while in New Haven police custody in June.
The 36-year-old was handcuffed and put into the back of a police van.
When an officer slammed on the brakes to avoid an accident, Cox went flying headfirst into the back of the doors.
He was paralyzed from the chest down.
According to the New Haven Superior Court clerk’s office, Cox’s previous charges of breach of peace second-degree, threatening second-degree, carrying a pistol without a permit, criminal possession of a firearm, and threatening first-degree were dropped.
“Randy could possibly be paralyzed for life and in my view, that’s a punishment more than anything else,” said Mayor Justin Elicker, New Haven. “Totally unacceptable and we want to make sure that never ever happens again.”
The courts found that the officers involved followed proper procedure while they arrested Cox, but what they did afterward and during transportation was wrong.
When officers are transporting arrestees, they are responsible for the safe transport of that person to the police station, officials said.
“The safety of Randy Cox depended on the New Haven police department. In this case, he sustained injuries in the transportation and consequently, he’s now paralyzed because of it. That is a severe case,” said Kenneth Gray, Criminal Justice Expert, University of New Haven.
The states attorney’s office has an ongoing investigation on the five officers who were involved.
The investigation includes from the time Randy was transported to when he was processed.
“Once the states attorney decides whether to take action there which, you know, could be an arrest, could not be, once that occurs, the city will then start our internal affairs process,” Elicker said.
The legal team for Cox recently announced a lawsuit against the City of New Haven.
“We’re asking for people’s patients as we work through this. It’s certainly frustrating that these things don’t move as fast as we’d like,” Elicker said.
They mayor said changes have been implemented.
Police now transport arrestees in the back of cruisers and make sure they’re properly seat belted in.
Cox’s attorney, Ben Crump, released a statement in response to Randy Cox’s charges being dropped.
“When watching the video of the incident that left Randy Cox paralyzed, anyone can discern that these officers had preconceived notions about Randy and his character. The officers did not believe Randy when he said he couldn’t move after being thrown against the wall of a van, and accused him of drinking too much. The New Haven Police Department handled this incident horrifically from start to finish and now they must answer for their conduct. The decision to drop the charges against Randy was absolutely the right one, considering how gravely he was injured while in police custody and how obviously these officers had biases against him.”
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