Marvin Scott III pepper-sprayed, made to wear spit hood before death in HORRIFIC jail footage
Warning: Graphic content
MCKINNEY, TEXAS: Officials from Collin County Sheriff's Office have released an unsettling video showing the events leading up to Black man Marvin Scott III's death at the establishment. He was arrested in March 2021 for misdemeanor and drug possession charges after he was found sitting next to a small amount of pot. Jail authorities have released 41 minutes of security footage on Friday, July 9 and it shows Scott was struggling with the officers as they put a spit hood on his face and pepper-sprayed him. Scott, 26, then became unresponsive and officers tried to revive his consciousness by rubbing their knuckles on his sternum, and medics were called for help as well but Scott was already dead.
Scott's family has viewed a longer version of the footage which was five hours long, after his death on March 14. Commenting on what they witnessed, his family said the footage was "horrific" and Scott was having a mental breakdown while being restrained by officers. His family said Scott had been medically diagnosed with schizophrenia previously. The Collin County Sheriff's Office has said they will be making no comment regarding the footage they released on July 9 due to potential legal action, according to a Fox 4 report. The security footage which was released had no sound and the office clarified that their cameras are not devised to record audio. Some of the faces in the video were blurred as well and the office said the decision was intentional.
"In March 2021, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner met with the family of Marvin Scott III and promised transparency regarding the investigation and facts surrounding his in-custody death," Collin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement to CBS Dallas. The 41-minute video which has been released opens with Scott struggling with multiple officers in the jail's hallway. At the three-minute mark, he was seen being brought to a room with a small restraining bed and 4 officers held him down to place him in restraints and a fifth officer was seen pepper-spraying his face.
Next, an officer tried to place a spit hood on Scott's face while he was being restrained. Spit hoods are used on inmates who try to spit on or bite officers. Scott was restrained for 17 minutes during which he tried to move at intervals. At the 18 minute mark in the video, an officer is seen rubbing Scott's sternum and it looked like he was trying to wake him up. After he remained unresponsive, another officer tried to offer him CPR before medics arrived and tried to resuscitate him. He was rushed to the hospital after failed attempts to revive him where he was declared dead.
A grand jury in Texas cleated all eight former officers of wrongdoing in Scott's death. They decided against indicting the eight officers for Scott's death after reviewing the footage and hearing testimonies from witnesses. "The eight officers who were dismissed in April following the death of Marvin D Scott III will not be charged with any state criminal offense," District Attorney Greg Willis said in a statement. Collin County's Medical Examiner had ruled Scott's death as a "fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint and struggle."
Many people along with Scott's family had rallied at the courthouse protesting the jury's decision. "Marvin Scott's family is extremely disappointed the grand jury failed to bring charges in this case," the family's lawyer said. The jail workers who had faced possible criminal charges included: Andres Cardenas, Alec Difatta, Blaise Mikulewicz, Rafael Paradez, Justin Patrick, James Schoelen, Christopher Windsor, and Austin Wong. Seven of them were fired after an internal investigation while an eighth former officer resigned, one amongst them successfully appealed the decision, it was reported.