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New Haven Police Commission votes to fire two remaining officers charged in Randy Cox case

In late September the family of Randy Cox and Attorney Benjamin Crump announced 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. Criminal charges have now been filed against all five officers by the state's attorney.
Left: Ben Crump. Right: Doreen Coleman, mother of Randy Cox.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
FILE: In late September 2022 the family of Randy Cox and Attorney Benjamin Crump announced 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. Left: Ben Crump. Right: Doreen Coleman, mother of Randy Cox.

New Haven’s Police Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to fire Sgt. Betsy Segui and Officer Oscar Diaz, the two remaining police officers criminally charged in the Randy Cox case.

The vote comes just weeks after two other officers were fired for their alleged roles in the 2022 arrest and detention of Cox. It also comes after the city of New Haven reached a historic $45 million settlement with Cox. It is the largest settlement in U.S. history for a single police brutality incident. The $27 million settlement reached in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in 2020 is now the second largest settlement.

Commission chair Evelise Ribeiro said the firings will allow the city to move forward.

“We can now start to heal as a police department and as a community. And we just wanted to note that the behavior of these officers are not indicative of what the New Haven Police Department is about,” Ribeiro said.

Segui and Diaz could be seen on police body camera footage as Cox was dragged out of a police van while severely injured.

Cox, a New Haven resident, was arrested in 2022 on gun charges, which were later dropped. Diaz drove the van Cox was riding in unsecured and says he brought the vehicle to an abrupt stop to avoid an accident.

The sudden stop caused Cox who was handcuffed and not wearing a seatbelt, to fall from his seat and hit his head on a partition, leading to his permanent paralysis.

Segui could be seen on police body camera footage helping other officers move Cox into a holding cell instead of seeking immediate medical attention.

An Internal Affairs report found Segui made false statements to investigators who reviewed the incident, according to previous reporting from the New Haven Register.

Two other officers, Jocelyn Lavandier and Luis Rivera were fired earlier this month for their roles in Cox’s detention. All four are now facing criminal charges in a separate criminal lawsuit. A fifth officer who was involved, Ronald Pressley, retired in January.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker released a statement Wednesday night in which he vowed the city will hold police officers accountable for their actions.

“The votes by the Board of Police Commissioners this evening and earlier this month to terminate these officers are important and necessary steps towards ensuring accountability for the mistreatment of Randy Cox while he was in their custody and care. "

This story has been updated

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