In what lawyers call the largest civil settlement in a police brutality case in the nation’s history, a $45 million dollar agreement has been reached for the treatment of a man who became paralyzed in a police van after a 2022 arrest in New Haven, Conn.
“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,” Cox’s attorneys Ben CrumpLouis Rubano and RJ Weber said in a statement.
The settlement came after the victim, Richard “Randy” Cox’s neck was injured on June 19, 2022, when the police van transporting him to prison braked hard to avoid a collision with another vehicle that had been pulled out from a side street, according to CBS News.
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Cox, who was not strapped in by a seat belt, could not brace himself because his hands were cuffed. As a result, he flew head-first into the metal divider between the driver’s section and the prisoners’ area, the report notes.
As Cox pleaded for help, video footage showed the officers accusing him of being drunk and not believing that he was injured as they drove on to the station. Once there, officers placed him in a wheelchair, wheeled him into a cell, where he waited for an ambulance.
Two police officers, Jocelyn Lavandier and Luis Rivera, were fired for violating officers conducting rules on upholding the law, integrity, trustworthiness, courtesy and respect, the report says. They also face criminal charges.