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Randy Cox video of New Haven police arrest

Source: New Haven Police Department / New Haven Police Department

New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson announced on Tuesday he is recommending the firing of four police officers involved in the transportation incident that left a Black man paralyzed from the chest down.

On June 2022, Randy Cox, 36, was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing a handgun. After his arrest, officers transported Cox in a police van but failed to strap him in properly. Video of the van ride shows Cox, who was handcuffed, being tossed around the van after the vehicle came to an abrupt stop. Five officers were arrested and charged with second-degree reckless endangerment in November. Surprisingly enough, four of the five officers who are facing possible termination have been on paid administrative leave since the incident.  

Officer Oscar Diaz, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier, Officer Luis Rivera and Sgt. Betsy Segui have been on administrative leave since the Randy Cox incident.

The fifth officer, Ronald Pressley, retired right after Cox was paralyzed and isn’t part of Chief Jacobson’s recommendation. According to Chief Jacobson, an internal affairs investigation was completed March 6, which lead to Jacobson’s recommendation. Two other people will also be disciplined for their roles in the incident but will not be identified to the public.

“If we gave Randy a voice that day when he said he was injured, we wouldn’t be here today,” Jacobson said in a press conference. “If we treated him with dignity, we might not be here today. If we were neutral in our decision-making when he said he was injured, we might not be here today.”

Hearings of the four recommended terminations will take place as soon as late April.

On Juneteenth of this year, Richard “Randy” Cox was arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a permit, criminal possession of a firearm and two misdemeanors, all of which were ultimately dropped.

It’s likely the video footage from the arrest and showing the inside of the police van while Cox rode played a role in the charges being dropped. Crump, who first posted the video on social media back in June, suggested Cox’s injuries were sustained as a result of apparent implicit bias on the part of the arresting officers.

“When someone enters police custody, they deserve the dignity and respect, care and safety that any of us would want,” said Mayor Justin Elicker during a news conference on Tuesday. “When Randy Cox was arrested, he entered a police van able to walk and now he is not able to walk. We need to ensure that this never, ever happens again.”

Randy Cox has yet to make a public appearance since he was paralyzed.


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