MCKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The seven Collin County detention officers involved in the in-custody death of Marvin Scott III have now been fired, the sheriff announced Thursday.
“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,” Sheriff Jim Skinner said in a statement.READ MORE: Public Health Experts Say Dallas Cowboys COVID Outbreak Shows Pandemic Far From Over
On March 14, officers in Allen arrested Scott outside of the Allen Premium Outlets for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana and took him to Collin County Jail. According to the sheriff, several detention officers tried to secure Scott to a restraint bed after he exhibited “some strange behavior.”
During the process, they used pepper spray and also placed a spit mask on his face, Skinner said last month. Skinner then said Scott became unresponsive hours later and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The day after Scott’s death Skinner placed seven detention officers on administrative leave. Those seven have now been fired.
Skinner said an eighth detention officer also resigned during the investigation.READ MORE: AP Source: Rangers Snag Shortstop Corey Seager For $325 Million, 10-Year Deal
“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,” Skinner said in a statement.
Attorneys for Scott’s family said the 26-year-old was having a mental health episode and that the detention officers did not handle the situation properly.
“It wasn’t just weird. It was a mental health crisis,” attorney Lee Merritt said last month. “It is a huge deal to disrespect him in that way.”
Scott’s family released the following statement Thursday:
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“Just one day after the funeral of Marvin Scott III, the Collin County Sheriff has fired 7 detention officers in connection with his death while in police custody. We are pleased with this decision and consider this progress, the first step of many more to come. Next, these former officers need to be arrested and brought to justice. Our team is now looking into the possible involvement of an 8th individual and we hope to meet with the district attorney’s office soon. and we look forward to meeting with the District Attorney’s office.”
Collin County Judge Chris Hill released a statement Thursday in support of Skinner’s decision:
“The people of Collin County are dismayed that Marvin Scott III died while in custody at the county jail on March 14, and our hearts break for Mr. Scott’s family. Although the Texas Rangers’ criminal investigation of this tragedy is ongoing, Sheriff Jim Skinner announced today his decision to terminate the employment of the officers involved. I fully support Sheriff Skinner’s decision. Collin County and the Sheriff’s Office will always hold our officers to the highest standards in their sworn duty to protect all people.”