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Panel reverses Conn. officer’s firing over treatment of man paralyzed in police van

Oscar Diaz was one of five officers fired after Randy Cox was paralyzed while being transported to a police station

Prisoner Paralyzed Connecticut

FILE - In this image taken from police body camera video provided by New Haven Police, Richard “Randy” Cox, center, is pulled from the back of a police van and placed in a wheelchair after being detained by New Haven Police on June 19, 2022, in New Haven, Conn. The five former Connecticut police officers who were arrested for allegedly mistreating Cox, then a prisoner, after he was paralyzed in the back of a police van, applied Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, for a probation program that could result in the charges being erased.(New Haven Police via AP, File)


By Joanna Putman

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut arbitration panel has voted to reverse the firing of one of the former New Haven police officers involved in the incident that paralyzed Richard “Randy” Cox, the New Haven Register reported.

The original incident occurred in June 2022 when Cox was arrested and put into the back of a police van that Officer Oscar Diaz was driving, according to the report. Cox was unrestrained in the back of the van except by handcuffs and was severely injured when the van came to an abrupt stop to avoid hitting another car.

After Cox was paralyzed, five officers, including Diaz, were criminally charged and fired from the department, according to the report. A police union challenged Diaz’s firing, and the case was sent to an arbitration panel.

On Jan. 19, two out of three members of the panel voted to reverse Diaz’s termination, according to the report. The department has been ordered to give Diaz his job back along with back pay since his termination, according to the report.