Internal investigation alleges officers violated several department principles during Randy Cox incident
By Michelle Watson and Zoe Sottile, CNN
CNN has obtained an internal affairs investigation report that the New Haven, Connecticut, police chief said led him to recommend the termination of the officers involved in a June 2022 incident that left Randy Cox, 36, paralyzed from the chest down in the back of a police van.
Five officers with the New Haven Police Department were arrested and charged with second degree reckless endangerment in November 2022, CNN previously reported.
The police were transporting Cox, who was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing a handgun, in the back of a police van when he was injured. Video during the transport shows Cox, who was handcuffed, hit his neck and back on the back wall of the van after an abrupt stop, leaving him paralyzed. The five officers pleaded not guilty in January, according to CNN affiliate WFSB.
The officers were identified by the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office as Officer Oscar Diaz, Officer Jocelyn Lavandier, Officer Ronald Pressley, Officer Luis Rivera and Sergeant Betsy Segui. Pressley retired from the department in January, CNN previously reported.
CNN received the report on Wednesday from Lt. Manmeet Colon OIC, Office of the Internal Affairs with police.
The redacted report alleges the five officers violated several of the principles in the department’s policies, including but not limited to integrity, trustworthiness, courtesy, and respect. The investigation consisted of multiple interviews with the officers and an interview with Cox himself, as well as transcripts of video taken throughout Cox’s arrest and transport.
The report includes claims that officers did not tell Cox to hold onto any of the safety loops in the back of the van, which had no seat belts. After the injury, Cox repeatedly called for help, telling officers, “I broke my neck.” When they arrived at the police station, officers dragged Cox out of the van by his ankles and placed him in a wheelchair.
The document details policy violations committed by each officer charged. Among other claims, it alleges that Segui “showed a lack of compassion and remorse for Cox while he plead for help,” failed to intervene while other officers dragged him, was not wearing her body camera, and was untruthful in her interviews.
It alleges that Diaz failed to call medical personnel or his supervisor about Cox’s injury and also failed to intervene while other officers dragged Cox. Lavandier likewise failed to intervene and also “showed lack of compassion as she dragged Cox by his ankles” and “ridiculed him for not even trying to move when he was physically unable to do so,” according to the report.
The report alleges that both Rivera and Pressley, who retired in January, failed to intervene, showed a “lack of compassion” when they dragged Cox into the holding area and ignored his calls for help, and failed to activate their body cameras.
The injury to his neck and spine left Cox paralyzed from the chest down, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
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