On March 14, Marvin Scott, III died while in the custody of Collin County law enforcement officers. In the time since, family and friends have been trying to get answers and accountability for what happened.
They say they are hitting a brick wall when it comes to responses from the Collin County Sheriff’s office. The family and their supporters have pledged to keep up pressure on Collin County officials until their issues are resolved.
This led to a May 2 protest where an altercation between the protesters and a motorist delayed by the blocking of a roadway heated up and seemed to almost come to blows.
A video of the exchange has garnered more than 100,000 views on YouTube and has drawn comments condemning both the motorist and the protesters.
Even Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has chimed in on the video, saying the protesters are the ones who should have been arrested, and implying that one motorist pulled out what appeared to be a gun.
Police later noted that the device was not a gun but a taser, and that the motorist had been charged with assault by contact, as he struck the hand of a protester while apparently trying to swipe a phone from her hand.
At Monday night’s city council meeting in Plano, several people addressed city leaders concerning the incident, with opinions ranging from those who feel the motorist should have been arrested, to others saying the police had not done enough to stop the “BLM agitators.”
One speaker who addressed the council regarding why the protest was held in the first place was disrupted and heckled by audience members in attendance, causing the mayor to intervene.
“The cognitive dissonance in here blows my mind,” the female speaker said.
Another speaker who appeared in public suggested Plano being spotlighted this way made it more likely that future protesters would want to come to Plano and try to disrupt the peace.
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Prior to the public comments, Plano City Manager Mark Israelson gave the council an update on the incident with more context than what was shared online in the past week.
He told the council the officer was originally dispatched to a traffic malfunction call. It was then the officer arrived that he discovered there was no malfunction, but that protesters were in the intersection following a planned event in Frisco. At that point, Israelson said the officer’s first priority was to de-escalate until other officer could arrive.
Because of the crowd, Israelson said the lone officer did not originally see the contact between the motorist and protesters. It was after conferring with both parties, as well as reviewing video of the incident, that the assault charge was filed.
He also said the blocking of the intersection only lasted approximately seven minutes.
The fallout from this event continues to draw attention to the Scott case, and a family’s efforts to find answers.
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Scott had been arrested on marijuana charges following his interaction with officers from the Allen Police Department outside an outlet mall. While in jail, officers said Scott began behaving strangely and was combative when they tried to restrain him.
Collin County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. William Rohr, listed the cause of death as “fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint struggle with law enforcement.”
There were seven officers placed on leave and then fired after the death of Scott. However, one of the officers has since been brought back to the facility.
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Elizabeth Michel, a family friend, has been looking for answers from the Sheriff as to why.
“Well, now you have an employee that you terminated for violating ‘well-established policies and procedures’ back working in that facility,” Michel wrote in an email. “So again, I ask you, what have you done to retrain, re-educate, and ensure that your officers know the training and follow the training? You are responsible for their behavior. What is your plan to fix this internally???”
As of press time, it was Michel’s sixth attempt to get answers to these questions from the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.
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