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Family of Randy Cox, Connecticut man paralyzed in police custody, calls misdemeanor charges for 5 officers "a slap in the face"

CBS New York 11/30/2022 Dick Brennan

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The family of a Connecticut man who was seriously injured in the back of a police van earlier this year is speaking out after the officers involved in his arrest were charged.

Cox's mother says she visits her son in the hospital to take care of him because he is paralyzed from the chest down.

"I sit there all day," she said. "He needs somebody help him get something to drink. He needs somebody to help him get some food to eat."

It happened in June. Cox, 36, was in the back of a New Haven police van when the vehicle had to stop suddenly and he was thrown head-first into a wall. The van had no seat belts.

READ MORE: Connecticut man left paralyzed after video shows his head being slammed against back of police van; 5 officers placed on leave

Cox was begging for help, saying he couldn't move and his neck was broken, but officers were dismissive.

Body cam footage shows officers telling him, "Move your leg. Sit up."

"Why you not listening, bro? I can't move," Cox says.

"You're not even trying," the officer says.

"Yes, I am," Cox says.

Video shows that they dragged him by his feet from the van and placed him in a holding cell.

Now, five officers are facing charges, including second-degree reckless endangerment, but the family is not satisfied.

"These charges were a slap in the face. It really was. Two misdemeanors?" said Latoya Boomer, Cox's sister.

READ MORE: 5 New Haven police officers face charges over mistreatment of Randy Cox, paralyzed while in custody

New Haven has implemented reforms, including police training and mandating the use of seatbelts for prisoners, but the family says it's not enough.

"When you think about it, it's not really fair. It's not really fair that they are getting a slap on the wrist. Misdemeanor charges, where they will at most see six months in jail," said Ben Crump, the family's attorney.

All five officers were released on bond. They are due back in court next week.

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