A Texas sheriff on Thursday fired seven officers who were on administrative leave after the custody death of a black man, The New York Times newspaper reported.
The firings come during the trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin for the murder of a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck during an arrest last May, an incident that triggered worldwide protests.
Marvin D Scott III, 26, arrested after a March 14 disturbance at an outlet mall, was acting in an erratic manner and police were concerned for his safety because of the possible ingestion of drugs, they said at the time.
He died later that night after having been restrained and pepper-sprayed following his handover to the county jail, and a spit hood had been placed over his head, the Times said.
"Evidence I have seen confirms that these detention officers violated well-established sheriff’s office policies and procedures," the paper quoted Jim Skinner, the sheriff of Collin county, as saying.
He said that an eighth officer had resigned.
The newspaper said Allen city police had arrested Scott on a marijuana possession charge and that he had less than two ounces of the drug, which is a misdemeanour.
Floyd's death set off protests across the United States, and around the world, against racial injustice and police brutality to black people.