In the United States, unfortunately, instances of police brutality against the Black community are narratives we have become well acquainted with. As the high-profile trial of Derek Chauvin for his role in the death of George Floyd takes place, emotions across the country have been heightened once again. One Texas family is unfortunately without a relative and seven correctional officers have been fired in connection with the death of Marvin D. Scott III.

Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner confirmed in a statement Thursday (April 1) that seven officers suspected to be involved in the in-custody death of the 26-year-old have been let go. Although the Texas Rangers’ comprehensive criminal investigation into the death of Marvin D. Scott III continues, I have today terminated the employment of seven detention officers involved in his tragic death and have been notified of the resignation of an eighth officer who was under investigation," said Skinner said in a statement. 

He continued, "Evidence I have seen confirms that these detention officers violated well-established Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures. Everyone in Collin County deserves safe and fair treatment, including those in custody at our jail. I will not tolerate less."

Officers arrested Scott on March 14th on a charge of possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor charge according to Collin County sheriff's Capt. Nick Bristow. Allen Police Department officers who responded to the disturbance noticed the late Scott was, "acting in an erratic manner and were concerned for his safety due to the possible ingestion of drugs." 

After his arrest, Scott was brought to a hospital where he stayed in an emergency room for three hours before being processed at the Dallas suburb's Police Headquarters holding facility then transferred to Allen Police Headquarters holding facility. 

While in custody, Scott was reported to have once again been acting strangely, which prompted detention officers to restrain him to his bed before pepper-spraying him and attaching a spit mask to his face. He eventually became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. 

The family’s attorney holds that Scott was experiencing a mental health episode during the incident. “The statement that [the sheriff] gave today was not thorough nor transparent,” attorney Lee Merritt said. “It wasn’t just weird. It was a mental health crisis. It is a huge deal to disrespect him in that way.” 

Our prayers go out to Marvin Scott III's family, and may his soul Rest in Power.