On March 29, Plano Chief of Police Ed Drain despatched a memo to all personnel, saying that the division would now not make custodial arrests for low stage hashish possession within the largest metropolis in Collin County. This announcement got here a couple of weeks after Marvin Scott III died in police custody within the Collin County Detention Middle after being arrested by Allen police for the possession of a single joint. Seven officers concerned with Scott’s dying have since been fired following an inside investigation. Additional particulars relating to the continued investigation by Texas Rangers have but to be launched.
The memo states that whereas custodial arrests can be halted for Class B misdemeanor possession — lower than two ounces of hashish — officers will proceed to grab hashish and might proceed to make use of its presence as possible trigger for “additional inquiries as could also be indicated.” Officers could proceed to make arrests for Class A misdemeanor possession and Felony offenses involving hashish.
In keeping with a press launch from Plano Police Division, as a substitute of custodial arrests for Class B misdemeanors, officers could problem citations for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, which is a category C misdemeanor.
The discharge additionally indicated that this alteration was initially thought of after an in depth evaluation of arrest prices and traits in November 2020, which indicated a racial disparity in arrests.
“Like many jurisdictions throughout the nation, there’s a disparity in African Individuals’ arrests for possession of minor quantities of marijuana in comparison with Whites, despite the fact that nationwide drug use surveys present Whites, African Individuals, and Hispanics use marijuana at comparable charges. This disparity in arrest knowledge additionally contributed to the change in coverage,” the assertion learn.
Minister Dominique Alexander of the Subsequent Technology Motion Community in Dallas says that his group performed outreach to numerous police departments throughout Collin County, urging all of them to halt arrests for low stage hashish possession following the dying of Marvin Scott III.
“We despatched a proposal to a number of police departments and had been in a position to have an viewers with Chief Drain,” Alexander informed the Dallas Weekly.
When contacted for additional remark, Public Info Officer David Tilley mentioned that the timing of the announcement “occurred to be coincidental” with the dying of Marvin Scott III.
“As a consequence of that, Chief doesn’t need any additional remark from our division past the information launch as to not affect or create any points with their investigation,” Tilley continued.
Alexander was happy to see the discharge of the memo, however hopes that additional reforms will come.
“I believe that it’s an excellent begin to get the most important police division in Collin County to do that. I believe this helps us with neighboring police departments, like Allen,” Alexander says. “And I imagine we will go a step additional, similar to in Dallas. I believe we will begin having a dialog with [the] Plano Metropolis Council to get full decriminalization.”