$45M Settlement After Police Transport That Paralyzed Man

It's a historic settlement in case of Randy Cox
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2022 12:07 AM CST
Updated Jun 12, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
5 Cops Charged Over Police Transport That Left Man Paralyzed
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.   (New Haven Police via AP, File)
UPDATE Jun 12, 2023 1:00 AM CDT

The man paralyzed during a rough police transport last year in Connecticut has reached a $45 million settlement with the city of New Haven. Richard "Randy" Cox filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city and its police department last year, and what resulted is the largest police misconduct settlement ever in the US, per Connecticut Public Radio. (The 2021 settlement reached in the death of George Floyd was $27 million.) "You can make mistakes as an officer but you can't treat community members unfairly," New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said. "You have to give them a voice. Randy had a voice that day and said ... ‘I broke my neck; I can't move’ and we didn't listen to him." Two of the five officers who were criminally charged in the incident were recently fired; another had retired before he could be terminated. Two others will learn their employment fate June 28.

Nov 29, 2022 12:07 AM CST

The five Connecticut police officers involved in the transport of Randy Cox, who was paralyzed during the rough police van ride while handcuffed but not wearing a seatbelt, have been arrested and charged in connection with the June incident. Officers Oscar Diaz, Ronald Pressley, Jocelyn Lavandier, Luis Rivera, and Sgt. Betsy Segui face misdemeanor reckless endangerment and cruelty charges, the New York Times reports. The New Haven officers turned themselves in at the Connecticut State Police barracks; each was released on $25,000 bond and will return to court Dec. 8, CNN reports. They had been placed on administrative leave shortly after the incident, pending the outcome of an investigation. "It’s hard to see officers charged," the police chief said after the arrests. "You can make mistakes, but you can’t treat people the way Randy Cox was treated."

State’s Attorney John P. Doyle Jr. asked the Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad to carry out a criminal investigation into the matter, and the subsequent arrests are the result of Doyle reviewing the "extensive investigative materials detailing Mr. Cox’s arrest through his arrival at the detention center and to his subsequent transport to a medical facility," per a release from Doyle's office. Cox's legal team filed a federal civil suit against the police and the city on Sept. 27, alleging recklessness, failure to have proper restraints in the van, negligence, and also claims against individual officers including failure to render medical aid and excessive force. Cox's lawyer said after the officers were charged that while Cox's family is pleased with the arrests, they believe more severe charges should have been brought. (More Connecticut stories.)

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