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A Year After George Floyd's Murder, Local NAACP President Discusses Collin County's Struggle with Racial Equity

A year after George Floyd's death, Collin County finds itself facing a similar issue with a Frisco Black man who died at the hands of jailers at the Collin County Detention Center.
Fiora Watts/Shutterstock

A year after George Floyd's death, Collin County finds itself facing a similar issue with a Frisco Black man who died at the hands of jailers at the Collin County Detention Center. In March, Allen police arrested Marvin Scott III for a Class B misdemeanor and transported him to the county jail where he died a few hours later. A month later, the Collin County medical examiner ruled his manner of death a homicide.

Three months after Marvin's murder, none of the officers involved have been charged.

Last week, dozens of people showed up to demand action from the all-white Collin County Commissioners Court. Collin County Judge Chris Hill's response was to thank them for not protesting and have one of the speakers charged with a Class B misdemeanor. But unlike Marvin, the speaker, a white man, was able to walk out of jail a few hours later.

“I was held in contempt for, I guess, not leaving within four seconds,” the white speaker told the Dallas Morning News in a May 26 report. “It baffles me to see this. It makes no sense to me.”

Neither does their reluctance to hold the detention officers accountable for what they did.

A year after Floyd’s murder and with the Juneteenth celebration just around the corner, Local Profile contacted the Collin County NAACP President June Jenkins to discuss where Collin County stands in the fight for racial equality and equity.

Her prognosis: Not good, obviously.

Looking back one year after the death of George Floyd, how do you think the country looks now?

"I think the country is more polarized and racially divided today than the weeks following the death of George Floyd. With the presidential election and claims of voter fraud, a division was created that pits whites vs. Blacks. And now we have elected officials creating voter suppression throughout the country."

In general, how would you say the protests against police brutality have affected Collin County?

"I think the community was sincere in their anger and commitment last year, but either people don't know how or don't feel comfortable advocating for those things, which truly shows commitment to dealing with the impact of racism in our community."

Do you think the change in Collin County is positive or negative?

"Change in Collin County has remained the same. Recently, our state legislators created and passed voter suppression bills, taking out the history of slavery in our classrooms in an effort to erase what occurred and label it in a negative way to incite fear in the community. These actions were voted upon by legislators representing Collin County. The white community fails to speak up/out because it is uncomfortable, which demonstrates that we have not made change and are even moving in a negative direction."

What impact do you think the Marvin Scott III protests have had on the county?

"The question should be why has the Collin County community not been outraged about the death of someone in custody of our county jail. They should be enraged that no one has been held accountable. What if it were your child? We are a visual community, and until the video is shown, the community cannot connect to this tragedy. We owe it to the Marvin Scott family to arrest those who murdered Mr. Scott. We owe it to the family and our community to address mental health issues across our county. We owe it to our neighbors to understand and respect the need to protest. It is our right to bring awareness and change to inequities in our county and system."

What is your hope for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement and ending police brutality?

"The NAACP works to ensure that Black lives are a a priority in all spaces. From police brutality to COVID-19 to voter suppression, Black communities are under attack. We work to eliminate inequality, dismantle racism and accelerate change in key areas, including criminal justice, health care, education, climate and the economy. We work daily to make racial equity a reality."