7 Texas officers fired in jail inmate death investigation

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Seven officers involved in the in-custody death of a jail inmate in Texas have been fired, a sheriff said.

The officers violated sheriff’s office policies and procedures leading up to the death of Marvin Scott III, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner said in a news release Thursday. An eighth officer resigned.

Scott, 26, was arrested March 14 at an outlet mall in Allen on a marijuana possession charge, news outlets reported. Allen officers took Scott to a hospital because he was reportedly acting erratically. Scott was released and police took him to the county jail.

While at the jail, Scott began to exhibit “some strange behavior,” Skinner said at a March 19 news conference, according to news outlets. Detention officers placed Scott on a restraint bed, used pepper spray and covered his face with a spit mask. Scott became unresponsive at some point and later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Family members told news outlets that Scott had schizophrenia and may have been suffering a mental health crisis.

A statement Thursday by family attorney Lee Merritt said Scott’s funeral was Wednesday.

“Just one day after the funeral of Marvin Scott III, the Collin County Sheriff has fired 7 detention officers in connection with his death,” the statement said. “We are pleased with this decision and consider this progress.”

The statement also asks that the fired officers “be arrested and brought to justice.”

Skinner’s statement said the Texas Rangers were continuing to investigate Scott’s death.

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