Seven sheriff’s officers in Collin County, Texas, were fired on April 1, apparently in connection with the death of 26-year-old Marvin D. Scott III.
Scott was arrested on a marijuana possession charge on March 14 in which he possessed less than two ounces of the drug, a misdemeanor offense in Collin County.
The next day, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office put out a release stating, “On Sunday, March 14, 2021, 26-year-old Marvin D. Scott III of Frisco, Texas, died while in custody at the Collin County Detention Facility. Officers from the Allen Police Department arrested Mr. Scott earlier that day and transported him to the county jail. The Sheriff referred the matter to the Texas Rangers, who are investigating this death. As a matter of policy, the Sheriff placed seven detention employees on administrative leave and ordered an internal administrative investigation. The Sheriff’s Office will not release additional information while the Texas Rangers are investigating.”
“Evidence I have seen confirms that these detention officers violated well-established Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures,” Jim Skinner, the Collin County sheriff, said in a statement.
Family attorney S. Lee Merritt informed the media that Scott, whose funeral was on March 30, had a schizophrenia diagnosis.
There is video footage of the episode that has not yet been publicly released. An eighth officer related to the incident has resigned.
The news of Scott’s death surfaced during the currently ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd last May.
Police brutality has been an issue for African American civil rights leaders for over 80 years. In 1962, an encounter with the Los Angeles Police Department outside a mosque resulted in the death of a Nation of Islam member. The incident of police brutality was focused on by Malcolm X.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on Twitter @LVBurke.