Editor’s Note: WTNH previously reported that the charges against Cox have been dropped. At this time, the charges remain but may be dropped in the future.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Attorney Ben Crump returned to New Haven on Thursday to provide an update on Richard “Randy” Cox after he was paralyzed while in police custody.
Cox, 36, was arrested on June 18 for unlawfully possessing a firearm. He was handcuffed and placed inside a police van that had no seatbelts. When the vehicle stopped, Cox was launched headfirst toward the front of the van’s holding area, smashing his head into the wall.
The incident, which was caught on video, left Cox paralyzed from the chest down. Crump said Cox was recently readmitted to the hospital due to complications from his injuries and that he has a fever.
“He can’t wipe his eyes if he’s crying,” Latoya Boomer, his sister, said. “He has no use of his fingers.”
Lawyers for Cox and New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said they are hearing the charges against Cox will be dropped.
“The state’s attorney mentioned that he was going to drop the charges. I don’t know officially if he has,” Jacobson said.
Cox’s family wants the five officers involved in the incident to be arrested and fired. All of them are currently on paid administrative leave.
“When you have a citizen in your custody, they’re in your care and so Randy was in their custody and we see what kind of care they gave Randy,” Crump said.
Crump, a nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney, has represented the families of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Trayford Pellerin and Jacob Blake.
The attorneys were hoping that the state police investigation into the incident would have been completed by the time of the press conference on Thursday. It wasn’t, but they say they are ready to file their federal complaint once the investigation is complete.
In response, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and Jacobsen released a joint statement saying they “share their disappointment” that Cox was once again in the hospital.
After the incident, police created a plan for new initiatives and reforms.
“We are firmly committed to make good on those promises for the sake of the Cox family, New Haven residents and the integrity of the police department,” the statement reads.
The statement lists seven actions the leaders said were either in progress or had been finished. These include keeping the five officers who were involved on leave pending an ongoing investigation, hosting public safety town halls, implementing new policies and procedures, conducting training, planning bystander training for police and will undergo random body camera audits within the detention facility.
“The incident and the mistreatment of Mr. Cox were completely unacceptable, and we are deeply committed to these initiatives and reforms and to making the necessary changes within the NHPD to ensure an incident like this does not happen,” the statement reads.