The Washington Post

5 officers charged after man paralyzed in van

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Five Connecticu­t police officers were charged Monday with cruelly neglecting a Black man after he was partially paralyzed in the back of a police van, despite his repeated and desperate pleas for help.

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 at an intersecti­on to avoid a collision, causing Cox to fly headfirst into a metal partition in the van.

“I can’t move. I’m going to die like this. Please, please, please help me,” Cox said minutes after the crash.

As Cox pleaded for help, some of the officers at the detention center mocked him and accused him of being drunk and faking his injuries, according to dialogue captured by surveillan­ce and body-camera footage.

Officers dragged Cox by his feet from the van and placed him in a holding cell before his eventual transfer to a hospital.

“I think I cracked my neck,” Cox said after the van arrived at the detention center.

“You didn’t crack it, no, you drank too much. … Sit up,” said Sgt. Betsy Segui, one of the five officers charged.

Cox was later found to have a fractured neck and was paralyzed.

The five New Haven police officers were charged with second-degree reckless endangerme­nt and cruelty, both misdemeano­rs. The other four charged were Officer Oscar Diaz, Officer Ronald Pressley, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier and Officer Luis Rivera.

Cox was arrested June 19 after police said they found him in possession of a handgun at a block party.

The charges against him were later dropped.

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