Seven sheriff’s officers in Collin County, Texas, have been fired on Thursday in reference to the demise of Marvin D. Scott III, a 26-year-old Black man who died after being restrained on the county jail final month.
“Proof I’ve seen confirms that these detention officers violated well-established Sheriff’s Workplace insurance policies and procedures,” Jim Skinner, the sheriff, mentioned in an announcement, including that an eighth officer had resigned.
The police in Allen, Texas, simply north of Dallas, arrested Mr. Scott on a marijuana possession cost on March 14. He had lower than two ounces of the drug, in response to the authorities — a misdemeanor.
The police mentioned that they had taken Mr. Scott to a hospital as a result of he was performing erratically. He was then taken to the county jail, the place county officers restrained him and pepper-sprayed him. A spit hood was positioned over his head. He died later that night time.
Each night for greater than two weeks, members of Mr. Scott’s household have been gathering to protest exterior the Collin County Jail, demanding transparency and accountability.
“We wish to know, how did my son die?” Mr. Scott’s mom, LaSandra Scott, mentioned at a information convention final week, in response to NBC 5. “We wish solutions.”
Mr. Scott had a schizophrenia analysis and typically used marijuana as a type of self-medication when his prescription medicine didn’t work effectively, in response to S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing the household.
Amy Gruszecki, a forensic pathologist who carried out a second post-mortem on Mr. Scott after his physique was examined by the Collin County health worker, mentioned on the information convention that in response to her preliminary findings, it was doable that asphyxiation, in addition to a bodily wrestle towards his restraint, may need contributed to Mr. Scott’s demise.
The county health worker didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Thursday. Mr. Merritt mentioned the county’s post-mortem outcomes had but to be launched.
The officers who have been fired on Thursday had been positioned on administrative depart after Mr. Scott’s demise. The sheriff’s workplace opened an inner investigation into the episode, and the Texas Rangers, a state legislation enforcement company, is conducting a felony investigation.
Mr. Merritt mentioned the household was asking for the officers concerned to be arrested and for the discharge of safety digital camera footage from the jail on the night time of Mr. Scott’s demise.
“They laid Marvin to relaxation on the thirtieth, only a couple days in the past,” he mentioned. “The household continues to protest each night time together with different members of the group.”
The firings in Texas have been introduced throughout the trial in Minnesota of Derek Chauvin, the previous Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck earlier than Mr. Floyd died on Might 25, prompting nationwide protests. Holding legislation enforcement officers accountable in the USA has lengthy been tough, partially due to highly effective police unions and a authorized system that provides extensive latitude for officers to make use of power.
At a March 19 information convention, Sheriff Skinner known as Mr. Scott’s demise a tragedy and mentioned he had met with Mr. Scott’s relations.
In line with a assertion from the Allen Police Division, law enforcement officials encountered Mr. Scott on March 14 whereas responding to a disturbance name at an outlet mall and “have been involved for his security because of the doable ingestion of medication.”
Mr. Scott was taken to an emergency room, the place he remained for 3 hours earlier than being launched with a doctor’s clearance, the police assertion mentioned. It added that he had been taken to the Police Headquarters in Allen earlier than being transferred to the Collin County Jail in McKinney.
Sheriff Skinner mentioned that the police had taken Mr. Scott to the county jail shortly earlier than 6:30 p.m. “Whereas within the reserving space, Mr. Scott exhibited some unusual habits,” he mentioned. “A number of detention officers tried to safe him to the restraint mattress, and throughout the course of used O.C. spray as soon as, and in addition positioned a spit masks on his face.”
O.C. spray — its formal identify is oleoresin capsicum — can be known as pepper spray. Sheriff Skinner described a spit masks as “a masks that matches over one’s head. It has a internet on it in an effort to preserve spittle from being spit on one other individual.”
The sheriff mentioned that Mr. Scott had turn out to be unresponsive round 10:30. He added that the Texas Rangers, who didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Thursday night, have been analyzing video footage of the episode.