Collin County

Family Calls for Justice After Edited Jailhouse Video From In-Custody Death Released

Marvin Scott's family said they'll continue to push for justice after the release of surveillance video inside the jail

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Monday afternoon Marvin Scott III's family and attorney gave their thoughts after the Collin County Sheriff publicly released a portion of video from inside the county jail related to their son's in-custody death.

Sheriff Jim Skinner released 40 minutes of the security video to the public on Friday which showed the final moments of Scott's life.

Scott was arrested at the Allen Premium Outlets in March for the possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana, a misdemeanor. Scott had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and while at the Collin County Jail, according to Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner, he began to "exhibit some strange behavior" which prompted detention officers to secure him onto a restraint bed.

The video, which was edited by the sheriff's office and was given to NBC 5 News with officer's faces blurred does not have any sound. The sheriff's office said the cameras do not record audio.

The video begins with Scott being removed from a cell in the booking area.

He's taken to another cell and placed on a restraint bed. There's some dialogue between him and the officer's over a period of time, but it's unknown what was said.

The mother of Marvin Scott III says what she saw in a jailhouse video released by the Collin County Sheriff's Office Friday afternoon was criminal and that her son was killed by jailers following his arrest in March 2021.

"We have no idea what was being said to him (Scott) we could tell from the actions if the words matched the actions, that it probably wasn't appropriate," said the family's attorney Lee Merritt. "We've heard from other inmates who were in the cell who heard Marvin screaming for his life saying how much pain that he was in asking them (police) to get off of him."

As about six officers try to strap him to the bed, Scott is seen trying to sit up multiple times. About two minutes after he's placed on the restraint bed, the video shows an officer using pepper spray on his face, one officer uses a pressure point control technique on his neck, and a spit mask is placed over Scott's head.

The 26-year-old went into cardiac arrest after officers tried to restrain him for about 15 minutes.

At a news conference Monday at the Collin County Courthouse, Scott's mother LaSandra Scott said at her son never should've been on the bed.

"Even a dog couldn't have survived the brutality on that faulty bed," Scott said.

NBC 5 asked the Collin County Sheriff's Office for details about the restraint bed. We were told in an email, "As other proceedings are possible or pending, the Sheriff’s Office has no further comment at this time."

In the video, for about 20 minutes, nurses, detention officers, and McKinney EMS are seen trying to revive Scott. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead on March 14th.

A day after a grand jury cleared eight Collin County detention officers of any wrongdoing, questions remain about what's next and when video from inside the jail will be released.
NBC 5 News
A day after a grand jury cleared eight Collin County detention officers of any wrongdoing, questions remain about what's next and when video from inside the jail will be released.

"He was killed and nobody is being held accountable. Unacceptable," LaSandra Scott said at the news conference.

Scott's family had previously viewed more than four hours of the video in April and have been pressing for the county to release it to the public for weeks.

"My son came up for air about three times during the video and the individual that grabbed his head and started doing this illegal maneuvers, up under his throat, that was criminal, that was unnecessary," said Scott's mother who is a nurse. "Being peppered sprayed and immediately a spit hood goes over his head and that reduces your oxygenation in conjunction with those illegal maneuvers, so I'm very disappointed about how the grand jury came up with their conclusion."

Seven of the detention officers were terminated for violating sheriff's office policies and procedures; an eighth detention officer resigned while under investigation, the sheriff's office announced in April. Six of the detention officers appealed their terminations through the civil-service process and on Friday, April 23, the employment of one of those officers was restored by appeal.

NBC 5 News
LaSandra Scott, the mother of Marvin Scott III.

Last month a Collin County grand jury declined to indict the eight former officers in the case, clearing them of any criminal wrongdoing.

"When the jury does not see that there is a crime committed something is wrong with the system, something is absolutely wrong with the system, my son was killed by these individuals," said his mother.

In a statement, last month the grand jury suggested there be a county-wide group to study and "find the best solutions for the treatment of individuals with mental illness who come into contact with the criminal justice system."

"So they want to do him as a case study, like ‘Ok you guys get to go home to you family, don’t worry about it. We got this covered.’ No, he was killed, he walked in alive and he left dead, killed," expressed Scott's mother.

The family said they look forward to having a federal grand jury review the case.

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