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Sound Bites: New Haven cops thought Randy Cox was faking paralysis

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. New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson's recommended Tuesday, March 21, 2023, that four officers be fired for mistreating Cox, a Black man who became paralyzed from the chest down last year in a police van that braked suddenly. (New Haven Police via AP, File)
New Haven Police
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.

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A redacted Internal Affairs report has surfaced detailing Randy Cox’s arrest, transfer and detention. The New Haven police officers facing criminal charges for paralyzing Randy Cox thought he was drunk and faking his injuries. After their police van stopped short, injuring a handcuffed Cox, officers believed he was highly intoxicated, faking or exaggerating his injuries. Investigators didn’t learn about the extent of Cox’s injuries until the day after his arrest and detention. The report also found that two other cops violated department general orders. 

Earlier this week, New Haven’s police chief recommended their termination. Here’s a bite sized look at what else we are hearing:

Former Connecticut state lawmaker’s pregnant wife will serve six months in prison for stealing West Haven pandemic funds. Lauren DiMassa, wife of state Representative Michael DiMassa, enabled the theft of more than $100,000 from the city. She is set to report to prison about two months before giving birth to her child. "I am completely embarrassed by my actions and my grave lack of judgment," she said. "I will never be part of anything like this ever again." Meanwhile, her husband pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the city’s fraud case in November, but he has not been sentenced.

Suffolk County Water Authority broke ground on a main extension project to link Southold Town to the Central Pine Barrens aquifer. Town Supervisor Scott Russell called this project a “huge undertaking,” saying it would prevent saltwater intrusion, ensure clean water access for Southold, and protect water in the North Fork’s aquifer. The project is expected to be completed by 2030.

Connecticut's antisemitic incidents doubled in 2022 compared to the prior year. The Anti-Defamation League tracked 68 antisemitic incidents in the state last year, ranking Connecticut 11th nationwide. ADL Connecticut Regional Director Stacey Sobel said in a statement, “This follows a 42% increase from the previous year — a disturbing figure that we hope will serve as a stark reminder of the hard work still ahead to tackle all forms of hate and antisemitism here in our state.”

An updated DNA technique is being used to identify the murder victim in the Gilgo Beach murders. Investigators were able to identify Christine Belusko using genetic genealogy. Belusko, known as the "Girl With the Scorpion Tattoo," was beaten and burned when police found her body over three decades ago. Investigators are also looking for Belusko’s child, who would now be 34, if she is alive.

Suffolk County Legislator Nicholas Caracappa announced his domestic violence case has been formally dismissed. Last March, Caracappa (C-Selden) was accused of choking his estranged wife, and would serve one year in contemplation of dismissal and a one-year order of protection was given to his wife. Although Caracappa had been arrested in December 2020, court records reveal the case is now sealed, as of this month.

An initiative to strengthen teacher recruitment and retention efforts in Connecticut is underway. Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker announced the program aims to evaluate educators on a fair and frequent basis by receiving support needed to improve their skills and knowledge. The state Department of Education’s Educator Evaluation and Support will be proposing a new educator evaluation and support system based on state or national performance standards with a new set of guidelines.

The state of Connecticut will pay a $12 million settlement in a Department of Children and Families abuse case. The 13-month-old boy, “Baby Dylan,” was placed in DCF in 2015 with a foster mother with prior allegations of child abuse and neglect of her son and a foster father with a criminal history. The report said several DCF workers did not know about the couple’s backgrounds when the child was placed in their care. The settlement money will be put in a trust for the baby’s care going forward.

State Attorney General William Tong calls for Juul vaping settling funds to be directed to the Connecticut’s Regional Behavioral Health Action Organizations (RBHAOs). The $438.5 million settlement is supposed to combat youth vaping and nicotine usage. Tong’s testimony supports House Bill No. 6914, which focuses on safeguards and reporting guidelines for opioid and tobacco settlement funds.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul wants to increase penalties for illicit cannabis sales and cannabis stores. Her proposed legislation would amend the Tax Law and the Cannabis Law, which allows the Office of Cannabis Management, the Department of Taxation and Finance to restrict cannabis storefronts. She said this would improve the rollout of the state’s adult-use cannabis industry.

An intensive mathematics tutoring program for students in grades 6-9 will be launched in Connecticut. The Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program will address learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state Department of Education plans to allocate $10 million from its pandemic recovery funds with the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund.

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Clare Gehlich is a former news intern at WSHU.