A paralyzed black man is filing a $100 million civil lawsuit against the New Haven Police Department after crashing headfirst into a metal wall in a squad car

A nine-figure lawsuit has been filed against the city of New Haven, Connecticut, alleging that city police failed to properly secure a handcuffed black man in the back of their squad car after arresting him. The man is left permanently paralyzed as a result of what his lawyers are calling a preventable accident.

On Tuesday, September 27, Wallingford-based attorneys RJ Weber III and Lou Rubano filed a lawsuit received by Atlanta Black Star against the City of New Haven, Officer Oscar Diaz, Officer Betsy Segui, in the United States District Court District of Connecticut a , Officer Ronald Pressley, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier, and Officer Luis Rivera, who claimed they stripped plaintiff Richard “Randy” Cox of his constitutionally bound civil rights on June 19 when they “collectively and in concert with one another” and “failed and each other.” refused”. protect him while he was in her care.

Cox, 36, is suing for $100 million alleging negligence, recklessness, excessive force, denial of medical treatment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and assault by any officer.

The 29-page lawsuit states that after arresting and handcuffing him, members of the New Haven Police Department “put him in a police van for transport to the Westchester Avenue substation,” but did not strap him down.

“On the way to the detention center, Diaz suddenly and without warning slammed on the brakes, causing the van to come to an abrupt stop,” it said. “Cox had no warning of the impending and sudden stop, which resulted in his body being violently thrown around inside the van, resulting in serious and permanent injuries.”

Diaz, the driver of a prisoner van, slammed on the brakes to avoid colliding with another vehicle at the intersection of Division Street and Mansfield Street, causing Cox to fall against the back wall of the van and injuring his neck and spine .

According to his own bodycam footage, Diaz was speeding and went 11 miles over the 25 mph speed limit.

Diaz goes to the back and asks what happened and later calls for help. However, instead of asking the paramedics to come to the scene of the crime, he continues his journey to the detention center at 1 Union Ave. On the way to the prison, he passed two hospitals.

Once there, still not waiting for the ambulance, Diaz locks Cox in, claiming that Cox is lying about being injured. Nobody checked but thought he was drunk.

Officers asked Cox to get up and then dragged him out of the van. They once put him in a wheelchair and then dragged him across the floor of his cell while he was in prison.

Bodycam captures one officer telling another, “He’s perfectly fine. Do you want me to set these? [handcuffs] on him?” He wasn’t feeling well. Cox had broken his neck.

The end of the video shows the officer tying Cox’s ankles and leaving him on the floor before locking the cell door.

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump was hired to represent Cox and his family, joining Weber and Rubano, Cox’s mother Doreen Coleman and sister Latoya Boomer, state NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile, and local chapter president Dori Dumas , fellow civil rights activists and Cox’s to supporters outside New Haven City Hall to address the lawsuit.

According to the Huffington Post, he said at Tuesday night’s news conference in New Haven, “Can you imagine what it’s like to bring him here and to the hospital now?”

“Can you imagine what they must go through?” he continued. “He’s human. Look at the humanity in him. We have a tradition in America of devaluing people of color and marginalizing their worth.”

Since the incident, Cox has been hospitalized on and off, sometimes living on breathing tubes, and having to turn his life around. Now his family takes care of him. An estimate for his future care that ensures a “basic quality of life” will be between $20 million and $30 million, according to Crump.

“We believe that there is no value that can replace the harm and pain and harm and mental anguish and just torture he endures every day, every hour, every minute, every second,” he said crump.

“$100 million in damages is sought,” Weber said, adding, ​”There is no amount of damages that can compensate this man for the injuries he has sustained.

His mother said justice was the aim of the lawsuit, telling the press conference: “I want justice for my son. He can’t do anything for himself and I’m the one who’s here most of the time to help him drink and eat.”

It is believed that the severity of Cox’s condition could have been limited, but due to the five officers at the scene of the crime, the five officers at the scene blatantly disregarded the then suspect, his injuries went untreated for hours.

That night, Cox suffered serious injuries to his neck and spine. The lawsuit states, “As a direct and immediate result of the defendants’ actions identified above, Cox has suffered and continues to suffer great physical and emotional pain, including but not limited to mental anguish, frustration and fear at the fact that he was and remains seriously injured.”

From their alleged negligence to their alleged use of excessive force, which Crump says is captured by a police bodycam, the plaintiff wants to show that the officers’ actions were “willful, intentional and premeditated.”

The city of New Haven released six bodycam videos of the incident. A video shows Cox sitting in the van, unfastened, and just as Diaz abruptly stops the van.

A handcuffed Cox slides down the bench in one of the videos and crashes headfirst into the back door and van, weakly screaming, “Help.”

The complaint states, “Cox has suffered and continues to suffer from a great deal of physical and emotional pain, including but not limited to mental anguish, frustration and fear at the fact that he was, and remains, seriously injured.”

All five officers linked to the case have been placed on paid leave.

The city’s mayor, Josh Elicker, visited Cox in the hospital and later announced a dramatic reform of police department policy. At the forefront of the changes is the move to end the use of police patrol cars to transport suspects who have been arrested by officers.

https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/09/29/paralyzed-black-man-sues-new-haven-police-department-for-100m-alleging-negligence-and-excessive-force/ A paralyzed black man is filing a $100 million civil lawsuit against the New Haven Police Department after crashing headfirst into a metal wall in a squad car

James Brien

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