Marvin Scott III: Black man's death in Texas jail after being forced to wear spit mask ruled a homicide
Scott, who allegedly suffered from schizophrenia, was arrested for 'smoking a joint'. He was first taken to a local hospital for 'erratic behavior'
MCKINNEY, TEXAS: Marvin Scott III, a 26-year-old Black man had died in custody after being chained to a bed for several hours at a Texas detention facility. His death was a result of homicide, claims the medical examiner. The Texas man died last month in custody after being arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession in a Dallas suburb on March 14.
Scott was taken into custody on March 14 by officers from the Allen Police Department, who said he was "acting in an erratic manner" at an outlet mall claims Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner. He was transported to a hospital and held in an emergency room for approximately three hours "due to the possible ingestion of drugs," Allen police said and stated that he was transported to the Colling County Jail in McKinney.Scott who had been arrested for possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana, was then transferred to a detention facility in Collin County at approximately 6:22 pm Skinner said at a March 19 press briefing. When he reached the booking area of the jail police say he exhibited some 'strange behavior'. Skinner stated that Scott was then subsequently secured to a restraint bed, pepper-sprayed and detention officers even put a spit mask on his face.
Reports reveal sometime within the several hours that Scott was restrained to the bed, he became unresponsive before being pronounced dead later at a hospital. Skinner had called the incident a "profound tragedy" at a news conference, but the Collin County chief medical examiner, Dr William Rohr, called it a homicide. Rhor's findings show Scott's cause of death was "fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint struggle with law enforcement."
Scott's family has also come forward with claims that he had schizophrenia and was facing a mental health crisis while being detained in police custody. Family attorney Lee Merritt claims to TMZ that at the time of his arrest, Scott was using marijuana "to self-medicate" after being diagnosed with schizophrenia." Merritt also told the outlet that he got news of Scott's death being ruled as a homicide around the same time he learned that Ahmaud Arbery's murder suspects were being charged with federal hate crimes, thus calling it a bittersweet day. Meritt, who is also representing Arbery's family, claimed "I now have another uphill battle, having to fight the system for justice. Again, the cycle continues."
The attorney, who had recently announced his bid for Texas Attorney General, also took to Facebook in March, where he wrote, “His name was #MarvinScottIII, He was suspected of smoking a joint at an outlet mall in Allen, TX. When police arrived they observed him murmuring to himself and in apparent mental health distress— so they took him to jail. Not a mental health facility, just jail. In the jail he was sprayed with pepper spray, held down with a knee and ‘restrained to death.’ He was 26 and schizophrenic. He needed help. Allen PD & Collin County COs helped him to death. The whole system must change. All of it— starting with accountability. Crisis is not criminal.”
His name was #MarvinScottIII, He was suspected of smoking a joint at an outlet mall in Allen, TX. When police arrived...Posted by Lee Merritt, Esq. on Tuesday, 16 March 2021
News of Scott's death ruled as homicide comes after the Collin County sheriff announced earlier this month that seven detention officers involved in Scott's death have already been fired for violating department procedures. After watching footage of Scott's final moments with Collin County prosecutors, his family has also demanded these officers be arrested.
Shortly after Scott's death, his family had gathered for a protest against the incident with about 50 demonstrators joining the march. His mother LaSandra Scott had said at a press conference at the time: "We want to know, how did my son die? We want answers! “This has to be very spiritual for me. I lost my son, and it’s been very, very emotional, okay. I don’t want anybody to get hurt, anybody to get tear-gassed or anything. The purpose of this protest is peace, and we just want the seven officers’ names. And we want them to be arrested. You know, that’s what this is about.”