Surveillance footage captures the moment a handcuffed suspect was paralyzed after hitting his head in a Connecticut police van last week.
Richard Cox, 36, who was arrested on June 19, for possession of an illegal firearm, was being transported in a van without seatbelts to the New Haven Police Department when the vehicle came to a sudden stop – tossing Cox head first into the wall.
Footage shows Cox laying on the floor and weakly shouting ‘help’ until the officers pulled over to scope the incident
Cox was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm by New Haven police
Richard Cox, 36, hit the wall of the van headfirst before collapsing to the floor
He was handcuffed in the back of a van without seatbelts when the vehicle came to a sudden stop
Officer Oscar Diaz went to go check on Cox before calling an ambulance and proceeding to the New Haven Police Department
Officer Oscar Diaz then pulled the van over to check on Cox.
‘What happened,’ Diaz asked as Cox attempted to tell him various times that he was unable to move his body.
Diaz called an ambulance and proceeded to drive to the police headquarters.
Multiple officers responded to the van and insisted Cox get up to leave the van, despite Cox insisting he couldn’t move.
‘If you got to drag me, do what you got to do,’ Cox told the officers as they proceeded to pull him out by the leg.
‘Sit up,’ an officer told Cox various times as he was placed and slumped over in a wheelchair with his head handing to the far side of his shoulder.
Upon arrival, officers pulled Cox out of the van after he proceeded to insist he couldn’t move
Officers refused to believe that anything was wrong with Cox aside from the fact that they believed he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
‘Sit up,’ an officer told Cox multiple times
Officers brought Diaz into the station for processing before lifting him out of the wheelchair and dragging him into a cell
Cox was dragged into his cell by two police while others observed claiming he was ‘perfectly fine’
Cox was placed on the floor of the cell while officers hand cuffed him by his feet
The officers proceeded to take Cox inside the station for processing without medical attention.
Before dragging Cox on the floor of a cell and handcuffing his feet together, officers accused him of consuming drugs and alcohol – claiming that was his issue.
‘He’s perfectly fine,’ an officer said.
Cox is currently fighting for his life at a New Haven hospital, his attorney Ben Crump said.
‘He’s paralyzed from the chest down and has to use a breathing tube – his quality of life is forever diminished,’ Crump said.
Crump – who has famously represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin – is calling for justice after Cox was ‘brutalized’ without a reason.
‘They dismissed his pleas as lies, instead of offering immediate medical aid, officers dragged him off the van & threw him into a wheelchair that may have exacerbated his life threatening injuries,’ Crump said.
Ben Crump, who represented the families of Breanna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tayvon Martin, is apart of Cox’s legal team
Cox is fighting for his life and is on a breathing tub, Crump said
Crump is calling for accountability after officers neglected Cox and dismissed his pleas for help
The case is under investigation and the officers on-duty have been placed on administrative leave. The officers include Ronald Pressley, Jocelyn Lavandier, Betsy Segui, Luis Rivera, and Diaz, according to the New Haven Independent.
According to a local attorney representing Cox, Jack O’Donnell, a lawsuit is in the works.
Cox’s family and legal team are scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the New Haven Superior Court.