Five Connecticut cops were charged Monday with criminally paralyzing a black man from the chest down during a ride in the back of a police van, according to authorities.
Randy Cox, 36, was being transported to a detention facility by the New Haven Police Department in June when the van came to a hard stop to avoid a collision, causing Cox to violently slide head-first inside the van, according to video footage of the incident.
According to video and officials, Cox, who was being processed on a weapons charge, called out for help and stated that he couldn’t move from the floor.
“I can’t move. “I’m going to die like this,” Cox said minutes after the crash. “Please, please, please assist me.”
Officer Oscar Diaz, the driver of the van and one of the five charged, at one point stopped the vehicle and checked on Cox, police said. But when he called paramedics, he told them to meet at the station instead of where the van was stopped, police said.
According to surveillance and body cam footage, some officers at the detention center made fun of Cox and accused him of being drunk or faking his injuries.
Sgt. Betsy Segui, who was also charged, responded to Cox’s claim that he thought he cracked his neck, saying, “you didn’t crack it, no, you drank too much… sit up.”
Cox was dragged to a holding cell by his feet before being taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured neck and left partially paralyzed.
Officers Segui, 40, Diaz, 54, Ronald Pressley, 56, Jocelyn Lavandier, 35, and Luis Rivera, 40, have all been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty.
Each one turned themselves in and posted $25,000 bond with their next court date set for Dec. 8, Connecticut state police said.
New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson admonished their conduct Monday.
“You can make mistakes, but you can’t treat people poorly, period. You cannot treat people the way Mr. Cox was treated,” Jacobson said.
Ben Crump, Cox’s family attorney, demanded that the officers be held accountable.
“When you see that video of how they treated Randy Cox and the actions and inactions that led to him being paralyzed from the chest down,” he said Monday, “it is critical that those police officers be held to the full extent of the law.”
In September, his family filed a federal lawsuit against New Haven and the five charged officials.
Cox was arrested on June 19 after police accused him of having a handgun at a block party; however, the charges were later dropped.
Since last summer, the officers and sergeant have been on administrative leave.