July 14, 2022

Article at Medium

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Man in Police Custody Left Paralyzed

Camera Video released by the City of New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut — A horrifying and tragic incident left a 36-year-old man paralyzed while in the custody of police officers in New Haven, Connecticut in late June.

Randy Cox, a black man appearing in good health was in possession of a firearm. He is an ex-felon and, therefore, is prohibited from gun possession. New Haven police arrested him, cuffed his hands behind his back and placed him in the back of a police van.

Not restrained with safety belts, he was alone in the back of the vehicle, sitting on one of the two metal benches lining the sides. Cox, with his hands cuffed behind his back, was left to fend for himself against the physical forces impacting any object not properly secured in the van.

Stopping fast to avoid a collision

The police officer driver of the vehicle stopped fast, allegedly to avoid a collision. Mr. Cox unable to protect himself against the forces of physics fell headfirst into the back door of the van and suffered a broken neck and immediate and permanent paralysis. According to the video, this apparently when the van slowed down as he hit the cab side of the rear holding compartment. The speed indicated by the onboard camera recording the incident is 36 mph. This is the speed at which Mr. Cox’s head and neck impacted the back door of the van.

He called for help and there was no response from the driver or the riding officer for four minutes. They eventually stopped the van. Checked on him, found him on the floor and called emergency services, then resumed their journey leaving the man on the floor and untreated.

According to reports, police procedure required the driver to remain with the detained when they arrived at the holding facility. They claim he did not. Instead, the officers at the holding facility accused Mr. Cox of faking his injuries.

Despite his injuries, he is dragged out of van

Released videos show they dragged him out of the police vehicle, dropped him into a wheelchair and later dragged him from the wheelchair onto the floor of a cell. Finally, for the piece de resistance, they shackled the legs of the now permanently paralyzed man and left him on the floor.

Eventually, the EMTs arrived. He is now in the hospital and is paralyzed from the chest down on a ventilator. At a recent rally, his sister stated, Mr. Cox is unable to move, unable to walk, he can’t talk and now he just cries.

The officers are now on paid leave pending an investigation. Police cameras caught the entire incident and the city released the video to the public. What is disturbing, however, is how many people do not know this happened.

This man, granted an ex-felon with a gun, was in what seemed to be excellent health for his age. Within the time it took to place him in the police van, run him to the holding facility, drop him on the floor of the cell and shackle his legs, this healthy man was severely and permanently crippled.

The Mayor spoke out and said the officers did not act maliciously but promised to take steps to prevent this from happening again. He also attended the Justice for Randy Cox rally on Friday July 8 in New Haven.

A life was destroyed and a man is now severely crippled for one simple reason — allegedly nobody cared.

No H8?

Presently, we hear people speaking out against hate. Hate is not as much a problem in this world as you may think that is because the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. This whole incident was nothing more than a testament to that truth. The officers allegedly treated him as if he was a piece of furniture they were taking to the dump.

If you had an expensive chair you were moving from one location to another, you would tie it down to prevent it from damage. If there was a move such as the sudden stop allegedly to avoid an accident, you would pull over to make sure the chair was not damaged and resecure it if necessary. None of this happened. According to the videos released, he was literally treated as if he was a piece of furniture being taken to the dump.

The released video presented a similar action of indifference by the agents at the holding facility that again just is beyond belief. Shackling a man’s legs whom your organization just paralyzed is worthy of a horror movie but this was real life.

Every person in the United States and beyond knows the name of George Floyd a man who was similarly in police custody and who likewise was treated at least by Derek Chauvin with similar indifference. If someone is in restraints, the minute he or she says, “I can’t breathe,” action must be taken. immediately regardless of the circumstances of the arrest or the cause. If someone says they cannot breathe or are injured the person must be taken at their word.

Mr. Cox told the officers both in the police van and in the holding facility that he was severely injured. They did not take him at his word.

In December of 2019, a police officer also from New Haven was caught on camera kicking and punching a handcuffed man. The handcuffed man spit in the officer’s face after he picked him up from the ground by his braids. The officer punched the man immediately. He had already kicked the man while he was on the ground before picking him up by his braids. Both the mayor and the police chief at the time recommended firing the officer.

The City of New Haven police department has announced new protocol changes to its procedures including putting suspects in cars instead of police vans.

New Haven is the home of Yale University.

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