Seven Texas Officers Fired After Black Man Dies While in Police Custody

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Seven Texas detention officers involved in the in-custody death of Marvin Scott III were fired Thursday, the Collin County Sheriff said, noting evidence that he said confirms the officers violated policies and procedures.

26-year-old Marvin Scott died on Sunday, March 14 this year while in custody at the Collin County Detention Center after he was arrested earlier by the Allen Police Department and transported to the county jail.

After Scott’s death, the Collin County Sheriff referred the matter to the Texas Rangers and initially placed the seven detention officers on administrative leave. Thursday, Sheriff Jim Skinner announced the seven detention officers had been terminated, and an eighth resigned while under investigation.

“Although the Texas Rangers’ comprehensive criminal investigation into the death of Marvin D. Scott, III continues, I have today terminated the employment of seven detention officers involved in his tragic death and have been notified of the resignation of an eighth officer who was under investigation. Evidence I have seen confirms that these detention officers violated well-established Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures. Everyone in Collin County deserves safe and fair treatment, including those in custody at our jail. I will not tolerate less.”

According to local outlets, Skinner previously told media Scott was taken to the jail after an arrest for a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession.

Dallas TV station KXAS reports Scott was initially taken to the hospital where he stayed in the emergency department for several hours before he was transported to the Collin County Jail. The outlet reports Skiller said Scott appeared to “exhibit some strange behavior,” and detention officers secured him onto a restraint bed, used pepper spray and attached a spit hood over his face.

Scott later beccame unresponsive and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

KXAS spoke to Scott’s mother after his death. She told the station he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago but hadn’t had an episode recently and had been doing well for a year.

The family’s attorney had told media outlets an Allen police officer realized Scott was experiencing a mental health issue and that’s why he was first taken to the hospital, but the attorney cited previous interactions with police where Scott was taken to a mental health facility. His family is questioning why he was later released to the Collin County jail and wants to see video and know if life-saving efforts were made before EMS arrived.