MCKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The family of Marvin Scott III spoke publicly for the first time Monday since a Collin County grand jury last month declined to indict the eight jailers who struggled with Scott at the jail prior to his death in March.
"He was killed by these jailers," insists his mother, LaSandra Scott, "He suffered... he suffered."
The family has been riding a river of grief and anger for months. They say the release last week of additional jailhouse footage of the events preceding Scott's death should be a wake-up call for the community.
"He should have gotten a mental health evaluation," insists Scott, setting up what the family calls "a cascade of failures."
Scott was arrested at an Allen outlet mall for behaving erratically and was taken to jail after officers discovered that he was in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana.
"Nobody's life should be on the line for carrying a joint," said civil rights attorney Lee Merritt. Merritt says the federal probe into Scott's death continues and could eventually lead to criminal charges, but neither he nor the family expects that process to move quickly.
Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis released a statement following the grand jury's decision, calling the case a tragedy for all involved: "For a parent to lose a child, including an adult child, is a loss that's profound, permanent, and unfixable."
After asking for prayers for the Scott family, Willis went on to say that he shares the grand jury's concern for the treatment of individuals suffering from mental illness "...and I pledge to honor Mr. Scott by taking the lead in assembling a working group to look for lessons learned so that his tragic in-custody death will not have been in vain..."
But for the still-grieving family, condolences do not equate to justice.
"So now Marvin Scott is going to become a case study?" questioned his mother. "He walked in alive. He left dead. He was killed and no one is held accountable. Unacceptable."
for more features.