MCKINNEY, Texas - The Collin County sheriff has fired seven detention officers involved in the death of Marvin Scott III.
An eighth detention officer resigned under investigation.
Sheriff Jim Skinner says the officers violated policies and procedures.
"Evidence I have seen confirms that these detention officers violated well-established sheriff’s office policies and procedures," the sheriff said in a statement. "Everyone in Collin County deserves safe and fair treatment, including those in custody at our jail. I will not tolerate less."
"The people of Collin County are dismayed that Marvin Scott III died while in custody at the county jail on March 14, and our hearts break for Mr. Scott’s family," Colling County Judge Chris Hill said in a statement."I fully support Sheriff Skinner’s decision. Collin County and the Sheriff’s Office will always hold our officers to the highest standards in their sworn duty to protect all people."
Scott died in custody at the Collin County jail on March 14th. He was arrested by Allen police for marijuana possession after officers were called to the Allen outlet malls.
Sheriff Skinner previously said that Scott began to act strangely at the jail, so officers put him on a restraint bed and used pepper spray to get him under control.
The Texas Rangers are conducting a criminal investigation of the incident.
Investigators and Scott's family are also waiting for official autopsy results on his death.
"I was extremely excited, I couldn’t believe it, I was stunned, happy and overcome by emotion," Marvin Scott Sr. said.
After weeks of protests calling for the arrest of seven officers involved in the death of Scott, his family said they are finally seeing some action.
FOX 4 spoke to the family on the phone as they were on their way back to Texas from Missouri, where they had funeral services for Scott.
"I’m still in shock. Yesterday was the hardest day, one of the hardest days of my life," LaSandra Scott, Marvin’s mother, said. "Hearing this news made me feel like it’s just a little bit of a start. It’s not exactly what we want initially, it’s a little bit of a start."
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the family, said the firings are a step in the right direction.
"The firings and the statement by Sheriff Skinner is really encouraging to this family. Of course, we’re holding out to see everyone involved held criminally accountable, but for the sheriff to make as clear as possible from what he’s able to do from an administrative perspective," he said.
Allen police said Scott was arrested at the Allen Outlet Mall for marijuana possession.
Because of his erratic behavior, he was transferred to a hospital for three hours, then cleared by a physician to be taken into custody and to jail.
According to the Collin County sheriff, Scott began acting strangely while in their custody.
In order to restrain him, officers placed him on a restraint bed, placed a spit hood on him, and used pepper on him.
During that time, Scott became unresponsive and later died.
Merritt said they hope evidence in the case, such as video of what happened, will be shared soon.
"Those acts alone, we thought, were enough for him to issue arrest warrants at the time. We think those are the criminal acts that led to these terminations but we will be more clear when the video is released," he said.
The family, meanwhile, said they will not stop their nightly protests at the Collin County jail until the officers involved are arrested.
"Now that they’re fired, they need to be arrested. Go to their homes and arrest them," Scott’s sister, LaShay Batts, said.