Randy Cox lawyers suing the city of New Haven for $100 million
FILE - Jerry Brown, center, brother of Richard "Randy" Cox Jr., speaks during a rally for Justice for Randy Cox in front of the New Haven Police Department, Friday, July 8, 2022, in New Haven, Conn. Lawyers for Cox, a Black man who was paralyzed from the chest down in June when a police van without seat belts braked suddenly, filed a $100 million lawsuit Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, against the city of New Haven. (Arnold Gold/New Haven Register via AP, File)
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Lawyers for Randy Cox, a Black man who was paralyzed from the chest down in June after a police van without seat belts braked suddenly, filed a $100 million lawsuit on Tuesday against the city of New Haven, Connecticut.

Cox, 36, was being driven to a police station in the city June 19 for processing on a weapons charge when the police driver braked hard, apparently to avoid a collision, causing Cox to launch headfirst into the wall of the van, police said.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Cox’s legal team is still in talks with the city but filed a federal negligence lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court to make sure Cox is compensated for his suffering.

“If we say we respect life and respect Randy Cox’s life experiences and people like Randy Cox, similarly situated, then we have to show that by action, not just by rhetoric,” Crump said. “Not just say we care about Black lives, but we have an actual duty in New Haven and throughout America to show that we believe Black lives matter.”

According to AP News, Cox was arrested at a block party when Connecticut officers were called on Lilac Street, after someone stated that he had a gun. Authorities state that during the arrest, Cox was being uncooperative and is a convicted felon, which means that he’s not permitted to have a gun.

The officers arrested Cox and placed him in the back of a police van, with no seatbelts. According to police, Cox flew into the front of the vehicle after the driving Officer Oscar Diaz hit the brakes to avoid a car accident in the area of Division Street and Mansfield Street.

“The treatment of Mr. Cox while in the custody of the New Haven Police Department was completely unacceptable, and the City of New Haven is deeply committed to doing everything within its power to ensure an incident like this never happens again,” Mayor Justin Elicker said.

LaToya Boomer, Cox’s sister, said, “We don’t want any lip service; we want action. The action can’t come from me, it has to come from the people have those jobs, being the mayor or the police commission or someone with any of those titles. I’ll be waiting.”

The lawsuit also claims officers were slow to get Cox medical help.

Cox will have a lifetime of costly health challenges, according to his lawyer Benjamin Crump. The day the federal action was filed, Cox had to return to the hospital because of bed sores.

“This is going to be a regular thing forever,” Crump told reporters Tuesday.

Mayor Justin Elicker and other city officials attended Crump’s meeting with reporters and said they, too, hope the suit can be resolved before trial.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...