fb-pixel Skip to main content

Five Connecticut police officers charged after Black man paralyzed in police van

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump took part in a march for Justice for Richard "Randy" Cox from the Stetson Library to the New Haven Police Department on July 8 in New Haven, Conn.Arnold Gold/Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Five Connecticut police officers were charged with misdemeanors Monday over their treatment of a Black man after he was paralyzed from the chest down in the back of a police van.

Randy Cox, 36, was being driven to a New Haven police station June 19 for processing on a weapons charge when the driver braked hard, apparently to avoid a collision, causing Cox to fly headfirst into the wall of the van, police said.

As Cox pleaded for help, saying he couldn’t move, some of the officers mocked him and accused him of being drunk and faking his injuries. Then, the officers dragged him by his feet from the van and placed him in a holding cell.

Advertisement



In this image taken from police body camera video provided by New Haven Police, Richard "Randy" Cox, center, is pulled from the back of a police van and placed in a wheelchair after being detained by New Haven Police on June 19, 2022, in New Haven, Conn. HOGP/Associated Press

The five New Haven police officers were charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty to persons.

The officers turned themselves in at a state police barracks Monday. Each was processed, posted a $25,000 bond and are due back in court Dec. 8, according to a news release from state police. Messages seeking comment were sent to attorneys for the officers.

The case has drawn outrage from civil rights advocates like the NAACP, along with comparisons to the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore. Gray, who was also Black, died in 2015 after he suffered a spinal injury while handcuffed and shackled in a city police van.

Five officers were placed on administrative leave in Cox’s case.