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5 officers charged after Black man paralyzed following ride in police van

Five CT officers on leave after man paralyzed

Five Connecticut police officers were charged with misdemeanors Monday over their treatment of a Black man after he was paralyzed from the chest down in the back of a police van.

Randy Cox, 36, was being driven to a New Haven police station June 19 for processing on a weapons charge when the driver braked hard, apparently to avoid a collision, causing Cox to fly headfirst into the wall of the van, police said. The incident was caught on video.

As Cox pleaded for help, saying he couldn't move, some of the officers mocked him and accused him of being drunk and faking his injuries. Then, the officers dragged him by his feet from the van and placed him in a holding cell.

"It made me sick to my stomach, to treat somebody like that," Cox's sister, Latoya Boomer, told CBS News.

The five New Haven police officers were charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and cruelty to persons.

The officers turned themselves in at a state police barracks Monday. Each was processed, posted a $25,000 bond and are due back in court Dec. 8, according to a news release from state police. Messages seeking comment were sent to attorneys for the officers.

The case has drawn outrage from civil rights advocates like the NAACP, along with comparisons to the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore. Gray, who was also Black, died in 2015 after he suffered a spinal injury while handcuffed and shackled in a city police van.

Five officers were placed on administrative leave in Cox's case.

"Mr. Cox was mistreated," Karl Jacobson, New Haven's assistant police chief, said in June. "He should've received medical attention immediately. We can't defend anything that was released."

The mayor's office announced several policy changes following the incident, including installing seat belts in all police department transport vans and requiring officers to buckle in detainees. Seat belts were already required in police cruisers.

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