Confirmed Homicide of Person with Disability Ruled Justified

Marvin Scott was a 26 year-old African American suffering from Schizophrenia. Marvin used marijuana as a medication for his condition. At an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, Marvin was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. The officers first took Scott to a local hospital because he was reportedly acting erratically. He was subsequently released and then transported to the Collin County Jail in McKinney, northeast of Allen, where he began “exhibiting some strange behavior,” Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner said at a press conference on March 19. Detention officers restrained Scott to a bed, pepper-sprayed him and covered his face with a spit mask. Scott was kept there for several hours and became unresponsive at some point. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital, according to Skinner, who called the incident “a profound tragedy.”

Collin County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. William Rohr, announced Wednesday that his findings show Scott’s cause of death was “fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint struggle with law enforcement.” The manner of death is listed as homicide.

Despite the medical examiner labeling the death as a homicide, the grand jury refused to charge the detention officers with a criminal offense. After the ruling, the grand jury issued a statement, saying: “After careful consideration of the applicable law and all the relevant facts we find the no probable cause exists to charge any person with a criminal offense related to the death of Mr. Scott. Accordingly, we have issued a no bill for each of the eight detention officers involved. We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Scott for the terrible loss you have suffered. We hope you can someday find peace.” More of this story here.