On Thursday, Plano Police Chief Ed Drain announced a special order that restricted officers’ discretion when it comes to Class B marijuana possession arrests — 2 ounces or less — due to the disparity in how it affects Black Americans like Frisco’s Marvin Scott III. Allen PD arrested Scott for smoking a joint in a parking lot — a Class B misdemeanor — and took him to Collin County jail where he was allegedly killed a few hours later.
Seven detention officers were fired in connection with Scott’s death, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner announced Thursday. Texas Rangers are still investigating the case and no former officers have been charged. An eighth detention officer also resigned.
Local Profile contacted both the Plano police and Sheriff Skinner. Plano PD spokesperson David Tilley has yet to respond. In a Thursday evening email, Sheriff Skinner wrote that he didn’t have any additional comment outside of his announcement about terminating the detention officers.
Tilley wrote in the April 1 policy change announcement, “Like many jurisdictions across the nation, there is a disparity in African Americans’ arrests for possession of minor amounts of marijuana compared to Whites, even though national drug use surveys show Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics use marijuana at similar rates.”
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As of this writing, 31 out of 50 states have decriminalized marijuana in some form. States that have decriminalized recreational marijuana use include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. The Texas