Keep Dallas Observer Free
For weeks, some North Texans have demanded the arrests of the eight officers involved in the death of Marvin Scott III. Now, they’re also calling for the arrest of a civilian.
Scott was a 26-year-old Black man who died in March while in police custody at Collin County Jail. Directly afterward, seven officers were fired and one resigned, and last week, Scott’s death was ruled a homicide.
On Sunday, supporters led a march through Plano and Frisco to honor Scott, and they had one last intersection to cross before finishing, said community advocate Hava Johnston. Traffic stalled as the protesters headed toward the parking lot of a Plano Chick-fil-A.
Video footage captured a tall white man, wearing a navy shirt and sports sunglasses, barreling toward protesters while screaming obscenities. With a buzzcut and graying goatee, the man is seen approaching a Plano officer positioned at the intersection and demanding that he “get these fucking people out of the way.”
Then, the man walks toward a young Black woman and slaps the cell phone she was using to film him to the ground. Demonstrators circle around her, and attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the Scott family, approaches the man. From there, the man puts his right fist on Merritt’s chest while holding up his left fist as if prepared to strike. The officer attempts to usher the man in the opposite direction.
“Get them out of here!” the man again screams at the officer before he notices Johnston hanging out of the driver’s side of her truck. “Fuck you!” he yells, thrusting his middle finger in Johnston’s face, and she yells back in kind.
Shortly after, the man retreats and is allowed to leave the scene.
Calls to Merritt and the Plano Police Department were not immediately returned.
Johnston said police should have arrested the man as soon as they witnessed him damaging the Black woman’s property, adding that he had a weapon on his hip. Additional officers were on the scene and police vehicles were parked at each corner of that intersection, she said.
There was no question about who did what and what happened, Johnston said.
“The question is: Why wasn’t that guy treated the same way that a person of color would have been treated?” she said.
A Twitter account called “Official Justice for Marvin” noted that the officer never reached for his taser or weapon, even though the man “towered over” him. The group is also calling on people to contact Plano’s police chief to ask why the officer allowed “this insane man to leave after witnessing his assault on protesters.”
“Ask him if a 6’5 275lb black man had approached a group of white women, children and men, if that man would be alive right now,” the group wrote in a tweet. They also demanded the man’s arrest and called for the officer’s termination.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free… Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism’s existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.