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'We demand justice' | Residents and community leaders call for justice for New Haven man paralyzed in police custody

Family members and the NAACP gathered at the New Haven town hall, holding up signs in support of Richard "Randy" Cox.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Leaders and community members are calling for accountability and justice as an investigation is underway into the handling of 36-year-old Richard “Randy” Cox while in police custody.

“We demand justice. We demand accountability and, most of all, we demand humanity,” said famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

RELATED: Family of New Haven man paralyzed while in police custody set to speak publicly

Cox’s family members held up signs at a town hall meeting hosted by the NAACP Tuesday night in New Haven.

His sister, LaToya Boomer, spoke about the treatment of her brother while in police custody.

“If someone is saying 'Help, I think my neck is broken, I can’t move,' how many times do they need to say it?” said Boomer.

Crump said Cox is in the hospital and can hardly move from his chest down after his head and neck hit the wall of a police transport vehicle just over one week ago.

During the town hall meeting, NAACP leaders and local government officials expressed their support for the family of Cox and called for change.

“We are here to demand justice, accountability, transparency and change, real change,” Dori Dumas, president of the New Haven chapter of the NAACP said.

New Haven Assistant Police Chief Karl Jacobson addressed the incident at the meeting.

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“We’re all disheartened by what happened and I want justice for Randy as well. We are going to work hard to make changes,” Jacobson said.

Local residents were fired up about Cox’s case and brought their concerns to New Haven leaders. Some called for the officers involved to be fired and questioned why the transport vehicle didn’t have seatbelts.

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

“We’re committed to doing the right thing, but we live in a system where people have rights and we have to see this process through,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

New Haven police said five officers are currently on paid leave as the investigation continues.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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