Grand jury in Texas will not charge officers in custody death of Marvin D. Scott III

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A grand jury in Texas on Tuesday cleared eight former officers of any criminal wrongdoing in the death of Marvin D. Scott III, a 26-year-old Black man, in custody.

The Collin County Grand Jury had reviewed the video footage of the incident and heard testimonies from witnesses before coming to the decision not to indict the eight officers, the county’s District Attorney Greg Willis said in a statement.

The eight officers who were dismissed in April following the death of Marvin D. Scott III will not be charged with any state criminal offense.

Scott was held on March 14 on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

He died after having been restrained and pepper-sprayed following his handover to the county jail, the New York Times reported, adding that a spit hood had been placed over his head.

The Collin County Medical Examiner had previously determined the cause of Scott’s death as “fatal acute stress response in an individual with previously diagnosed schizophrenia during restraint and struggle.”

“Marvin Scott’s family is extremely disappointed the grand jury failed to bring charges in this case”, the family’s lawyer said.

The evidence, “provides more than sufficient probable cause for indictment,” he added.

Dozens of people, along with Scott’s family rallied at the courthouse, protesting the grand jury’s decision.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department passed an order to require law-enforcement agents to wear body cameras when serving search and arrest warrants, adding a measure of accountability.

Last year, the United States saw months of demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, who was killed by a white police officer.