Marvin Scott autopsy

Civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt speaks to a crowd of protesters outside of the Collin County Jail.

Details continue to surface two weeks following the death of Frisco resident Marvin Scott III, and his bereaved family still has questions about his cause of death and what role, if any, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office played in it.

For this reason, the family and their attorney, civil rights lawyer S. Lee Merritt, commissioned an independent autopsy from Mesquite-based firm American Forensics. Forensic pathologist Dr. Amy Gruszecki explained the results of the autopsy in a Tuesday press conference hosted by Scott’s family.

“The physical struggle of the restraint, as well as the possible asphyxia from the restraint, would likely be causes of his death, and a negative autopsy meaning no injuries, no blunt force trauma is consistent with that,” Gruszecki said.

While more information is pending toxicology and autopsy reports from the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office, a criminal investigation from the Texas Rangers and an internal affairs investigation with the Sheriff’s Office, it has been confirmed by all parties that Scott was placed on a restraint bed and maced while detention officers placed a spit mask over him. His mother, LaSandra Scott, said, “A knee was placed on his arm and a pressure-point tactic was performed under his chin.”

Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner said in a press conference last week that upon his March 14 arrest for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, Scott, whom Merritt said was schizophrenic, exhibited “strange behavior,” for which he was taken by Allen Police to a nearby hospital. He was promptly discharged from the hospital and booked in the Collin County Jail.

After Scott became unresponsive on the restraint bed, officers brought him to Baylor Scott & White in McKinney, where he was pronounced dead.

“The death of Marvin Scott III is a tragedy,” Skinner said. “On [March 16], I met with Marvin’s family and his attorney to express my condolences and to try to answer any questions that I could.”

Merritt and Scott’s family are requesting the arrest of all seven detention officers who were placed on administrative leave. The former said at a rally that if this request was unsuccessfully escalated to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, then he would “take his job” in running against him in 2022.

Star Local Media filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city of Allen for the body camera footage of Scott’s arrest.

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