Texas man killed while in custody at county jail after weed arrest

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Marvin David Scott III
Marvin David Scott III

Scott’s family was informed of his death via a text message from the medical examiner

By Matthew Allen, TheGrio

Marvin David Scott III, a Texas resident, died on March 14 after being restrained and pepper-sprayed by county jail detention officers. He also had his face cloaked by the officers. He was arrested after police found marijuana in his possession.

Scott’s family is calling for the arrest of the all of the officers involved in his death.

Scott, 26, was arrested after police responded to calls over a disturbance, according to Vice. The Allen Police Department arrived outside of the Allen Premium Outlets mall in Allen, Texas, and Scott was arrested for having a cannabis joint in his possession, as reported by CBS 11.

After being booked at the Collin County Jail, Scott began to exhibit “some strange behavior,” according to Colin County Sheriff Jim Skinner. Seven of the county jail’s detention officers began to restrain Scott. They put him in a bed to stabilize him, after which they sprayed Scott in his face with pepper spray. The officers then used a “spit mask” to cover his face, according to Skinner.

Scott became non-responsive and after being tended to by the jail’s nursing staff, an ambulance was called. He was taken to Baylor Scott & White McKinney Medical Center in McKinney, Texas, just north of Allen. Scott was pronounced dead.

Vice reported that Scott’s family was informed of his death via a text message from the medical examiner.

The seven detention officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to Skinner, and the Texas Rangers have initiated a criminal investigation against them. The seven officers have not yet been publicly identified.

“The family is upset. The community is upset. I’m upset,” Skinner said. “The death of this young man is a profound tragedy, and we have an obligation to uncover the full and complete truth … and that’s exactly what the Texas Rangers and my internal affairs investigators are doing at this moment.”

Civil Rights attorney Lee Merritt is representing Scott’s family, and says that Scott was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Merritt said during a press conference that at the time of his arrest, Scott was suffering from a mental health crisis, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Merritt also contends that Scott had prior arrests in the area and had been placed in behavioral centers each time due to his mental condition. Therefore, the Allen Police Department should have known not to book Scott into county jail.

According to a statement from Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey, Scott was taken to the Texas Health Allen Hospital with assistance from the Allen Fire Department paramedics after his arrest because of his “erratic manner” and over “concern for his safety.”

A physician at the hospital cleared him to be processed by police three hours later and he was then booked at Allen Police headquarters before ultimately being transferred to Colin County Jail.

This article originally appeared on TheGrio.

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