7 Deputies Fired After Death of Black Man

Marvin Scott III died while in custody of Collin County. 7 deputies fired, 1 resigned.
Marvin Scott III

Black Man Having a Mental Health Emergency Arrested

(TX) – On March 14, Marvin Scott III was arrested by police while he was at a mall. The charge was “possessing less than two ounces of marijuana.” No information was given in the article as to why the police were called in the first place, but they took him to the hospital because he was acting erratically. Once the hospital released him, the police officers chose to take Mr. Scott to be booked into the Collin County Jail even though the charge is usually a ticket level misdemeanor.

Sheriff Won’t Release Video of Death

At a news conference, Sheriff Jim Skinner said that Mr. Scott exhibited “some strange behavior.” Mr. Scott was placed in a restraint bed, maced, and then a spit hood was placed over his head. The articles don’t say how long Mr. Scott was left like that. Being unable to wipe the mace off and having the smell of it held close to your face by the spit hood would be a form of torture, something I would consider police brutality. According to KSAT 12, “Scott became unresponsive at some point and later was pronounced dead at a hospital.” 

The in-custody death is now a Texas Rangers Investigation. There is no word yet from the medical examiner on the official cause of death. Sheriff Skinner has refused to release the video of what was done to Mr. Scott, to the family’s attorney. However, he announced on Thursday that he had fired seven of the deputies involved and that an eighth deputy had resigned. According to the sheriff, the action was taken because the officers violated policy and procedure.

Excessive Force a Possible Cause of Death

The family’s attorney may not have seen the video, but it seems he has some information regarding what happened. Attorney Lee Merritt claims Mr. Scott, who suffers from schizophrenia and was experiencing a mental health crisis, was put in a “chokehold.” He also says in the video below, that a deputy “climbed on him, placed a knee in order to hold him down, in order to put him in a restraint bed.”

In addition, Attorney Merritt is concerned about the refusal of the sheriff to allow him to view the video. He is not asking for it to be released to the public, just to be able to view it for the family. Attorney Merritt is worried that the video shows much worse than what is already known to have happened and that is why the sheriff is stalling on letting him see it.

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