Texas authorities release security footage from in-custody death of Black inmate

A Texas sheriff’s office has released graphic video footage from the March death of Marvin Scott III in custody, showing the moments detention officers restrained the inmate and used pepper spray against him. 

The over 40-minute footage was released by the Collin County Sheriff's Office, parts of which were shared by several news outlets.

The release follows a previous commitment made by the department that it would maintain transparency in the events surrounding the 26-year-old’s death. 


In part of the footage, Scott can be seen struggling as deputies attempted to place ankle, leg, chest and wrist straps on him. Later on in the video, one detention official can be seen pushing on the back of Scott’s neck as the man attempts to break free of the restraints. 

Police claimed that detention officers attempted to restrain Scott after he began to "exhibit some strange behavior.” 

Eventually, Scott can be seen getting pepper sprayed as an officer puts both his hands on Scott’s neck. NBC’s Dallas affiliate station KXAS reported that this move is a pressure point control technique. 

Officers then placed a spit mask on the man’s head, and 15 minutes later, Scott allegedly went into cardiac arrest. 

While nursers and first responders attempted to revive Scott for about 20 minutes, they were unsuccessful. Scott was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Police previously said that Scott had been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of possessing fewer than two ounces of marijuana. 


After he was detained, Scott was brought to the emergency room, and remained there for three hours before being transported to Collin County Jail, where the fatal incident occurred. 

His mother, LaSandra Scott, has said that her son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but had gone nearly a year without an episode before his arrest. 

The release of the footage comes after the Scott family said in May that they were shown about five hours of video from the March incident. 

According to KXAS, Scott’s mother described the footage as "horrific, inhumane, and disheartening,” calling for charges to be filed against the detention officers. 

Just weeks after Scott’s death, the sheriff’s office said it had fired seven officers following an investigation into the incident, adding that an eighth officer has resigned. 

However, six of the officers appealed their terminations, with one of the officers reinstated to his position in April. 

Late last month, a Collin County grand jury said it had found no probable cause to indict the eight officers allegedly involved in Scott’s death. However, they issued a statement calling for a working group to be established to “study the events of March 14th for lessons learned in an effort to avoid any similar future tragedy.” 

Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Scott’s family, said at the time that while he was disappointed that the grand jury failed to bring charges against the officers, he was hopeful that a federal grand jury would review the case.