Marvin Scott III’s death has been ruled a homicide in a medical examiner report
The death of Marvin Scott III is now being considered a potential homicide by a medical examiner, weeks after the Texas man died in police custody.
Scott died on March 14 after being taken into custody for alleged misdemeanor marijuana possession.
While being booked, Scott, 26, was pepper sprayed and had a spit mask placed on his face when he was exhibiting ‘strange behavior.’
Hours later he became unresponsive while being placed on a restraint bed and was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
In a release on Wednesday, the Collin County Medical Examiner referred to Scott’s death as a homicide in a preliminary conclusion.
The cause of death from the medical examiner was listed as ‘fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint struggle with law enforcement.’
Scott died in police custody at the Collin County Detention Facility in March
He became unresponsive while being strapped to a restraint bed at the facility
On Wednesday, Scott’s family was also permitted to see videos of the moments leading up to Scott’s death.
After watching the videos, Scott’s family echoed a call for the arrest of the officers involved in his death.
‘What we’ve seen today is horrific, inhumane, very disheartening, and we want these individuals arrested immediately,’ Scott’s mother, LaSandra Scott, said according to the Dallas Morning News.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family, said that six jailers could be seen in the video not providing Scott with needed help.
‘A result of their failure to act, and as a result of their failure to take steps that they were trained to take when someone’s in mental health distress, Marvin Scott was killed in police custody,’ Merritt said.
‘We ask for justice because at this point, that’s all we can ask for,’ Quinten Scott, 19, said of his brother.
Marvin Scott III suffered from schizophrenia, his family has shared
On the day of his arrest, Scott was arrested for allegedly possessing less than two ounces of marijuana.
Police were called to Allen Outlet Mall due tot he smell of marijuana.
According to WFAA, Scott was first taken to a hospital, where he spent three hours because paramedics thought he was acting strangely and might’ve taken drugs.
At around 6pm, he was taken to the Collin County Detention Facility.
Detention officers wanted to secure Scott to a restraint bed while he was in the booking lobby due to his behavior, which is when Scott was pepper sprayed and received the spit mask.
Around 10:30pm, Scott was being secured to a restraint bed when he became unresponsive, leading nurses to call an ambulance to take Scott to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Scott’s family claims Scott’s behavior was due to mental health episodes and law enforcement was aware that Scott suffered from schizophrenia based on past arrests.
Sheriff Jim Skinner (left) led an internal investigation and seven officers connected to Scott’s death (right) were fired, while an eighth later resigned
‘There are protocols with people with mental health issues when officers are aware, they are supposed to follow, and that did not happen here, resulting in an unnecessary death,’ said Merritt, the family’s attorney.
Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner claimed that an internal investigation showed that policies and procedures were violating, leading to the dismissal of seven detention officers and the resignation of an eighth.
The names of the officers who were fired on April 1 have not been revealed.
‘The seven have been fired, and when he said that, electricity went through my body. I was so happy,’ Scott’s father said to KDFW at the time of the firing.
One officer, however, was reinstated this week after successfully appealing his firing. Five more officers are still going through the appeal process.
Skinner disagreed with the decision to reinstate one of the officers, he said in a Tuesday release.
‘Sheriff Skinner disagrees with this decision and is considering his options before the full Civil Service Commission,’ the release stated.
Merritt, the Scott family lawyer, was also not pleased with the reinstatement of the officer.
Pictured: The inside of the Collin County Detention Facility, where Scott died
‘It’s really disappointing for the family not only that this officer got their job back, but we don’t know who this officer is or how he contributed to the death of Marvin Scott,’ Merritt said to WFAA.
The Texas Rangers are involved in the investigation of Scott’s death.
Scott’s family has been protesting at the jail on a nightly basis since his death, demanding accountability of the officers involved in his death.
‘We want to see these detention officers arrested,’ said Scott family attorney Blerim Elmazi. ‘We want to see them charged.’
The investigation continues a week after former Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin was convicted in the 2020 death of George Floyd, potentially opening the door to further police accountability.