A $45 million settlement in the case of a Connecticut man paralyzed while he was transported in a police van could be the largest ever in a police misconduct case. Richard “Randy” Cox suffered his injuries in the back of a New Haven police van last June. Five officers were charged after failing to intervene when it became apparent he was injured, reports WTNH. The five officers face misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and cruelty. Two of those officers were fired by the New Haven Police Commission on Wednesday. Insurance will cover $30 million of the total. “What happened to Randy Cox was unacceptable,” said Mayor Justin Elicker. “When an individual enters police custody, there is an obligation to treat them with dignity and respect and in a manner that ensures their safety and well-being. That did not happen with Randy: he entered policy custody being able to walk, and he left police custody paralyzed with his life and his health forever altered.” Cox, 36, was arrested on a gun charge at a Juneteenth party. He was being taken to a police lockup when he slid off a bench and was thrown head-first into the front of the van’s rear compartment when the driver hit the brakes abruptly, the Hartford Courant reports.
The mayor said the New Haven Police Department has instituted a comprehensive set of reforms, updated policies on the transportation of those in custody, and required department-wide training on the duty to intervene. Attorneys Ben Crump, Louis Rubano and R.J. Weber, who represented Cox, said the settlement is the largest in a police misconduct case in the nation’s history. “This historic settlement reflects the commitment of New Haven leadership to fully value Randy Cox’s life and support him through the difficult journey ahead,” the attorneys said in a statement. “As the largest settlement in a police misconduct case in our nation’s history, this settlement sends a message to the country that we know we must be better than this.”