The Arizona Attorney General said on Monday that they are not criminally charging any officers for the December 2019 death of a woman who reportedly accused a detention officer and police officer of sexual assault days before she apparently jumped out of a moving police vehicle.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General told The Copper Era that they completed their review and determined “no criminal charges are appropriate” in the December 28 death of Jordan Simms, 28, who died two days after jumping out of a moving law enforcement vehicle travelling 35mph.
Police claimed Simms had escaped handcuffs, a belly chain, and ankle restraints before jumping out. The Arizona Republic reported that a travel-sized bottle of shower gel was found in the police vehicle next to Simms’ locked ankle restraints and shoes. The shower gel bottle reportedly matched those found at Lori’s Place. And advocacy centre where Simms underwent sexual assault exams n December 23 and 26.
The deceased woman’s mother, Deborah Sanchez, told the Arizona Republic that “They claimed that she broke out of leg shackles, waist handcuffs, and a seatbelt all with shower gel.”
Simms was arrested on 21st December after being accused of shoplifting from a Walmat in Safford. While Simms was not taken into custody for the suspected shoplifting, she was jailed the same afternoon for an outstanding warrant out of Yavapai County. In Yavapai County, Simms was accused last November of car theft, drug possession, and failure to appear in court for allegedly stealing her adoptive father girlfriend’s car while in the possession of heroin.
Days before her death, Simms had accused Safford police officer Jeremiah French and Graham County Adult Detention officer Kianna Bays of sexual assault. Simms accused French of sexual assault on 23rd December though it is unclear exactly when the alleged incident occurred. French’s report stated that Simms claimed to be pregnant and requested medical attention. The Republic noted that only French’s report mentions a pregnancy.
Simms said she and French were alone in a hospital room for 15 to 30 minutes. While awaiting test results, Simms alleged French touched her arm and breast area before forcing his hand into her pants and putting a finger in her vagina. A Safford police officer wrote in a 23rd December memo that French said there was no bodycam footage of Simms’ hospital visit.
The Republic reported that Simms was ultimately released into French’s custody. While on route to jail, Simms was filmed running to a gate as French leaned into a car with his back turned. She was taken back into custody a short time later.
French was placed on paid administrative leave on December 24, a day after Simms accused him of sexual assault.
In June, Sanchez sued Graham County and their police department for $5 million, alleging negligence. The wrongful death lawsuit is currently pending. Simms’ mother told Republic in August, “UI can’t let them get away with murder, that’s how I feel.”