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New Haven and five of its police officers sued for paralyzing man in custody

Doreen Coleman, mother of Randy Cox (center) with her family as Attorney Benjamin Crump announces the official opening of a civil suit against the city of New Haven and the five officers involved in the incident that left Cox paralyzed.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
Doreen Coleman (center), mother of Randy Cox (center), stands with her family as attorney Benjamin Crump announces the official opening of a civil suit against the city of New Haven and the five police officers involved in the incident that left Cox paralyzed.

The family of Randy Cox has filed a $100 million lawsuit against New Haven police officers and the city. Cox, a man who is Black, was paralyzed in June while in police custody in the back of a van.

The lawsuit claims the city and five of its police officers were negligent, reckless and used excessive force.

The state attorney’s office is investigating the case and expects to finish by mid-October. Once that is completed, the city and the police department will begin their own investigations.

Police Chief Karl Jacobson said previously that the department’s actions could involve criminal charges against the officers. All five officers are on paid leave.

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who represents the Cox family, said Cox would need at least $30 million to have basic quality of living, but the family is seeking $100 million.

“For anybody to say, ‘Oh, $100 million, he’s not worth it,’ there’s humanity in Randy Cox, there’s humanity in all of us,” Crump said. “We’re unapologetic defenders of Black life, Black liberty and Black humanity.”

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and police chief Karl Jacobson look on as attorney Lou Rubano lays out the claims made in a new civil suit being brought by Randy Cox against the city of New Haven and the five officers involved in an incident that left Cox paralyzed.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
New Haven police Chief Karl Jacobson (right) and Mayor Justin Elicker look on as attorney Lou Rubano lays out the claims made in a new civil suit being brought by Randy Cox and his family against the city of New Haven and the five officers involved in an incident that left Cox paralyzed.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the city is committed to making sure that what happened to Randy Cox will never happen again.

It’s important for us to acknowledge that we all have responsibility to bring his family, and to the city, and the integrity of the police department to make things right,” said Elicker.

Cox’s mother, Doreen Coleman, said the family is doing the best they can, but they need help too.

“We want all of y’all to pay attention and do what’s right for my son,” she said.

The family also wants to see consequences against those who are responsible for Cox’s injuries.

LaToya Boomer, Cox’s sister, said she spoke with Elicker and Jacobson.

“They said they’re going to do what’s right for Randy, so I’m hoping and praying that that’s what happens,’ Boomer said. “There’s no amount of money that can replace having your bodily functions and your ability to move, he has none of that.”

Cox is expected to be in and out of the hospital for the rest of his life.

Catherine is the Host of Connecticut Public’s morning talk show and podcast, Where We Live. Catherine and the WWL team focus on going beyond the headlines to bring in meaningful conversations that put Connecticut in context.

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