Weeks following a grand jury’s decision not to indict the eight detention officers who were fired in connection with Marvin Scott III’s death, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office sent surveillance footage of the events leading up to his death in a Friday email to Star Local Media and other press outlets.
"Today, as promised, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office is releasing over 40 minutes of jail security video related to the in-custody death of Marvin Scott III," said Assistant Chief Deputy Nicol Bristow in the email. "While some of the faces on this video have been intentionally blurred, the absence of sound is because the facility’s camera system is incapable of recording sound.”
He continued, "As other proceedings are possible or pending, the Sheriff’s Office has no further comment at this time."
The video, nearly 41 minutes in length, shows Scott being placed and later strapped onto a restraint bed. While the officers’ faces were blurred, the footage does show one of them using pepper spray and another one fastening a spit mask on the 26-year-old Frisco man’s face. Officers and EMTs are then seen trying to revive Scott as he goes into cardiac arrest.
Scott’s surviving family and their attorney, civil rights lawyer S. Lee Merritt, hosted a press conference Monday to address the video.
“He was killed, and nobody is being held accountable,” said Scott’s mother, LaSandra Scott. She also called some of the restraint tactics administered by one of the officers “illegal maneuvers.”
Nonetheless, Merritt and the family have expressed thanks for the video’s release, a request they have been making since Scott’s March 14 death.
“We want to thank [Sheriff Jim Skinner] for doing the right thing [in releasing the video],” Merritt said at the press conference.
While the release of the surveillance video has been characterized as a victory, Merritt and the family have still called the grand jury verdict and the circumstances surrounding Scott’s death unjust. As such, Merritt stated they are looking to have the case reviewed by a federal grand jury following the June 22 decision to not press criminal charges against the detention officers.
This press conference happened in close proximity with Merritt’s Tuesday announcement that he was launching his campaign for attorney general of Texas. In a March 18 protest, Merritt expressed intent to escalate the case to Paxton’s office and vowed to run against him if arrests were not made in the aftermath of Scott’s death.
Paxton has made scarce comment about Scott’s death but penned a scathing letter against protesters who took to the streets in Plano on May 2 to demand justice for him. Paxton’s office also backed the Collin County Sheriff’s Office and the Allen Police Department in their appeals against releasing surveillance and body camera footage of the events leading up to Scott’s death.