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New Haven police chief calls for cops to be fired for van ride that paralyzed Black man

The cops who mistreated a Black man after he was paralyzed in a police van should be fired for their actions, their police chief said Tuesday.

Randy Cox, 36, remains paralyzed from the chest down following the incident in New Haven, Conn., on July 19, 2022. Five officers were charged with misdemeanors for their treatment of Cox that day.

New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson formally recommended Tuesday that four of those officers be fired. The fifth officer retired in January with a full pension despite facing criminal charges.

“The message to the community is that we will be transparent and we will be accountable, and we will hold our officers accountable,” Jacobson said.

New Haven’s police commissioners will have final say on the potential firings during meetings in late April or early May.

Cox was initially arrested during a Juneteenth block party on gun charges. He was placed in the back of a police van without a seat belt. At one point during the drive to the police station, the van’s driver, officer Oscar Diaz, slammed on the brakes.

The sudden stop sent Cox careening head-first into the dividing partition, fracturing his neck and leaving him paralyzed. Diaz said he braked to avoid an accident.

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When Diaz finally called paramedics, he told them to meet him at the police station to pick up Cox.

Once at the station, officers dragged Cox into and out of a wheelchair before leaving him lying on the floor of a holding cell until medical personnel arrived.

“You didn’t crack [your neck] — no, you drank too much,” scolded officer Betsy Segui when Cox complained about the pain.

This combo of photos provided by the Connecticut State Police, shows, from left to right, New Haven, Conn. Police officers, Oscar Diaz, Betsy Segui, Jocelyn Lavandier, Luis Rivera and Ronald Pressley.

Segui, Diaz and fellow cops Jocelyn Lavandier, Ronald Pressley and Luis Rivera were each charged with reckless endangerment and cruelty. All five officers pleaded not guilty.

Their firings were recommended after an internal investigation. Pressley retired early before the investigation was finished.

“These officers were sworn to protect their community, but they inflicted unnecessary and traumatizing harm to Randy, who will pay the price for the rest of his life,” Cox family attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday.

With News Wire Services

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