The family of Marvin Scott III is asking authorities for answers following his death at a Dallas jail on March 14. Scott’s family attorney says he was having a mental health crisis when police arrested him for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. His family is seeking transparency into the investigation of his death.
Lee Merritt is representing the family and told reporters a forensic pathologist was hired to conduct an independent autopsy to find answers themselves.
The forensic pathologist, Dr. Amy Gruszecki, said the preliminary autopsy was “thorough, it was as how I would have done it,” per the outlet’s report.
A bruise on Scott’s left arm and a mild heart enlargement were observed during Gruszecki’s autopsy. Scott was reportedly restrained at the Collin County jail, which the pathologist said could’ve been a factor in his death.
“The investigation and history that is available to me so far is that he was restrained and had a spit hood on his head, so 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 explained.
According to Merritt, Marvin was arrested at the Allen Premium Outlets after a security guard noticed the scent of marijuana. He was also having what seemed to be a mental health crisis.
His mother told reporters Marvin was diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago, but went about a year without having an episode.
“When we got him okay with his medication, he was starting to take them and fell off and felt like if he would use marijuana, it would benefit him more,” she said.
An officer who responded recognized that the 26-year-old was having a mental health crisis and took him to a hospital. Scott was reportedly released to the Collin County Jail, which his family is still questioning.
“Why, why, why was he given medical clearance?” his mother asked.
While at the jail, authorities said Marvin “exhibited some strange behavior” which led officers to detain him, including pepper spraying him, putting him in a restraint and putting a spit hood over his face.
Merritt and Scott’s family are seeking to review video footage of what took place to see what, if any, medical aid was given to Marvin before paramedics arrived at the jail. They’ve also called for seven jail employees who are currently on administrative leave to be arrested.
The family told reporters authorities didn’t call them about their son’s arrest, a move they say could’ve provided the opportunity to explain Marvin's condition to them. The family also claims they only received a text message about Marvin’s death the day after.
Texas Rangers are reportedly conducting the investigation.
Photo Credit: Getty Images