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Two Commissioners Court officials address May 2 protest in Plano



PLANO, TX – Members of the Collin County Commissioners Court have addressed recent controversy stemming from a protest that took place in Plano two weeks ago.

The demonstration was conducted in solidarity with Marvin Scott III, a Frisco man who died in Collin County Sheriff’s Office custody following his March 14 arrest in Allen. The Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Scott’s death a homicide, prompting his surviving family and activists to call for the arrest of the implicated detention officers.

The May 2 protest in Plano escalated as protesters obstructed traffic, prompting an irate motorist to belligerently confront demonstrators. A video of the altercation achieved online virality the following week when conservative activist Jack Posobiec shared it with the caption: “BREAKING: Plano, TX police officer allows armed left-wing militia to illegally block traffic, reprimands driver who attempts to clear road, defends himself.”

Circulation of this video led to allegations that one of the protesters pointed a firearm at the motorist, which the Plano Police Department dismissed as unsubstantiated.

“A protester pointed an electronic control device at the male subject in an effort to protect the female from being further assaulted by the male,” the department said in a statement, which became the subject of intense condemnation among conservatives.

Collin County Commissioner Darrell Hale addressed conservative critics of the May 2 demonstration in a Thursday social media post, saying, “As conservatives we absolutely should be behind the rights of the Marvin Scott family to protest – legally. I think if something happened that caused a loved one to die, we absolutely want to have our rights to be heard.”

He continued, “Now, I am seeing some grassroots organizers saying that we have to “do something” and we need to “pack the council chambers” and demand action from the city councils. What is the outcome we want? To insist that every class C misdemeanor for going outside the approved protest route be charged? To ban protesting on public streets even with prior approval? Are we banning assembly? What is the goal?”

Hale’s colleague, Judge Chris Hill, took a considerably different stance in a May 14 letter, as he more explicitly condemned the Plano protest.

“Across the nation this past year, Americans watched as city after city fell victim to riots, crime and lawlessness. The bad actors who preyed upon these communities often did so under the guise of ‘peaceful protests,’ but they betrayed their own words by their criminal actions,” he said. “Unfortunately, it appears that some in Collin County are willing to break the law in order to garner media and public attention, demonstrated by the recent orchestrated effort to block a busy Plano intersection while protesting in the middle of our public streets.

“The individuals who engaged in this behavior knowingly and volitionally disregarded the law and endangered others to further their own objectives. Like a school yard bully who torments others for his own amusement or profit, these agitators intentionally provoked conflict so that more people will pay them attention.”

Plano Police Department Public Information Officer David Tilley said the first officer to arrive on the scene de-escalated the situation and told demonstrators to disperse, an order which they complied with.

“All the protesters, they left. They got out of the street, they got over on the side and traffic resumed back to normal,” Tilley said to Star Local Media. “But we have to understand and we want people to understand that we will not or we’re not bowing to these protesters.”