NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — All charges have been dropped against the man who became paralyzed while in New Haven police custody in June, the New Haven Superior Court clerk’s office confirmed to News 8.
“As a person that saw what happened to Randy after he was in custody, and the fact that he may be paralyzed for life, I think dropping the charges was the right decision,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said.
New Haven police arrested Richard “Randy” Cox, 36, on June 19 for unlawfully possessing a firearm. He was handcuffed and placed inside a police van that had no seatbelts. When the vehicle stopped abruptly, the video shows Cox was launched headfirst toward the front of the van’s holding area, smashing his head into the wall. Cox did not receive immediate medical help.
The incident left Cox paralyzed from the chest down. Last month, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Cox, said his client had been readmitted to the hospital due to complications from his injuries.
Cox was charged with breach of peace, two counts of threatening, carrying a pistol without a permit, and criminal possession of a firearm in connection with the June 19 incident. All of these charges were dropped, according to the New Haven Superior Court clerk’s office, and the case has now been disposed of.
Crump released a statement Wednesday, calling the decision to drop the charges against Cox “absolutely the right one.”
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.– Attorney Ben Crump
News 8 reached out to the New Haven Police Department for comment, but we have yet to hear back.
Last month, Cox’s family filed a $100 million federal lawsuit against the City of New Haven and five police officers to make sure Cox is compensated for his suffering.
“If we say we respect life and respect Randy Cox’s life experiences and people like Randy Cox, similarly situated, then we have to show that by action, not just by rhetoric,” Crump said in September. “Not just say we care about Black lives, but we have an actual duty in New Haven and throughout America to show that we believe Black lives matter.”
In the lawsuit, the city and the five officers involved in Cox’s transport are accused of negligence, recklessness, use of excessive force, denial of medical treatment, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The five members of the New Haven Police Department involved in the transport and detention of Cox remain on paid administrative leave pending a state police investigation.
After the June incident, Elicker and Police Chief Karl Jacobson announced a series of police reforms, including eliminating the use of police vans for most prisoner transports and using marked police vehicles instead. They also require officers to immediately call for an ambulance to respond to their location if the prisoner requests or appears to need medical help.