Man breaks his neck after being thrown into back of police van without seatbelts

A man was left with a broken neck and paralysed after he was slammed against the prisoner partition in the back of a police van without seatbelts.

Shocking video footage shows a handcuffed Richard Cox being helplessly propelled forward head first after the vehicle came to an abrupt stop.

The incident means he is now fighting for his life in hospital and, as well as being paralysed from the chest down, he has to use a tube in order to breath.

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Cox was being transported to the New Haven Police Department by cops in the US state of Connecticut on June 19 having been arrested on suspicion of possessing an illegal firearm.

In the video, Officer Oscar Diaz is seen asking Cox what happened after pulling the van over to check on him.

Cox then repeatedly explains that he is unable to move his body and after calling an ambulance, Diaz continued driving to the police headquarters.

Several officers then insisted Cox get out of the van and after he responded: "If you got to drag me, do what you got to do," and they proceeded to drag him out by a leg.

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One officer subsequently told Cox to sit up on a number of occasions as he was slumped in a wheelchair with his head balancing on a shoulder.

Having received no medical attention while being processed, Cox was next dragged across the floor of a cell with his feet handcuffed together as some officers accused him of consuming drugs and alcohol.

On his client's condition, Cox's attorney Ben Crump said: "He's paralysed from the chest down and has to use a breathing tube – his quality of life is forever diminished."

Crump has famously represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin in the past and is now calling for justice after claiming Cox was "brutalised" without a reason.

He added: "They dismissed his pleas as lies, instead of offering immediate medical aid. Officers dragged him off the van and threw him into a wheelchair that may have exacerbated his life threatening injuries."

The case is under investigation and the officers on duty have been placed on administrative leave.

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