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New Haven to be sued within 60 days by paralyzed man: Lawyer

Richard Cox, 36, remains paralyzed from the chest down after he was injured in a police transport van.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Attorney Ben Crump was among dozens in attendance at a New Haven press conference Tuesday announcing a lawsuit will be filed against the city within the next 60 days.

Richard Cox, known as Randy by his family and friends, was severely injured during an abrupt stop of the police van he was being transported in. No seatbelts were installed in the van, just hand straps.

"I don't want to see my son in that damn room with that thing on his neck or his face," said a teary Doreen Coleman, Cox's mother.

RELATED: 3 additional New Haven officers put on leave after man injured in police van

"They knew about the situation with Freddie Gray several years ago," said Scot X. Esdaile, President of the Connecticut chapter of the NAACP. "They watch cities burn across America years ago and they didn't put those proper protocols into action."

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Many have pointed to the video of officers dragging Cox from the police van despite him telling them numerous times he couldn't move after crashing head first into the back of the van.

RELATED: New Haven officials concerned over how officers tended to injured arrestee

"The mayor said that this is a few bad apples in the bunch," Esdaile said. "I disagree. This is the culture of the New Haven Police Department."

Mayor Justin Elicker disagrees and Assistant Police Chief Karl Jacobson, who could be approved as the new full-time chief as soon as next Tuesday, said that if he is confirmed, he will implement what's called an early warning system for officers' accountability.

"When we catch them doing small things pair them with officers that do the good things in the right things and correct the problems but if the problems are too far gone then we need to take disciplinarian action," Jacobson said. 


Crump, a famed civil rights attorney, is the point man of Cox's legal team. He said America now needs to know what happened in New Haven. 

"We put the video out on social media and by the time we woke up this morning, 1 million people had watched the horrific video," Crump noted.

He said at least 10,000 people had commented on the video by Tuesday morning.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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