Jorden Stevens, a member of the Cocopah Indian Tribe, was killed at the YCSO Adult Detention Center February 15, 2017. 8 months later, his death was ruled a homicide by the Pima County Forensic Science Center.
Surveillance video of the incident, which shows a group of at least 10 Yuma County corrections officers brutally beating Stevens to death, was recently obtained by News 11.
Stevens was arrested on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge just 8 hours before being killed.
Cornelius Camarena is representing Jorden Stevens’ mother, Winona Stevens, in a wrongful death claim against the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, Yuma County Jail District, Yuma County and Yuma City.
The claim states the YCSO and Yuma Police used excessive force which resulted in the death of Jorden Stevens.
“In the process of him being released, he was assaulted by numerous Yuma County Sheriff detention officers,” said Camarena.
After being beaten until he was unresponsive, Stevens was carried to a cell where staff members attempted to resuscitate him. They did not succeed, and paramedics were also unsuccessful when they arrived on scene.
The wrongful death claim mentions injuries such as small red marks consistent with taser burns, bruises, abrasions and blunt force trauma.
YSCO chose not to answer News 11 when asked if any detention officers were disciplined for killing Stevens. They also chose not to divulge the results of their internal investigation.
The claim states Yuma police assaulted Stevens when taking him into custody, hitting him with a closed fist and causing brain damage. Yuma police would not comment on the February 2017 incident because of the ongoing lawsuit…even though the lawsuit is not yet filed.
Camarena is waiting for the wrongful death claim to be o denied by William Kerkes, the Deputy County attorney representing the parties the claim was presented to.
“Our next step is to file a lawsuit. We’ll be filing a lawsuit in Federal district court, alleging a violation of Mr. Jorden Steven’s civil rights,” said Camarena.