Mother's death prompts calls for changes to police chase policie - WSMV Channel 4

Mother's death prompts calls for changes to police chase policies

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Jessica Campos was killed in the crash last month. (WSMV) Jessica Campos was killed in the crash last month. (WSMV)
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A young mother’s death during a police chase last month has led to many questions.

The chase started after a suspect stole an SUV from a funeral home. It ended with Jessica Campos’ death.

Relatives and friends mourned the death of Campos, known as Miranda. The mother of two was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Campos died in Murfreesboro on June 24 when the suspect in a car theft crashed while being chased by police.

“This is the hardest thing, knowing this is where your daughter died at,” said Mildred Parker, Campos’ aunt.

Parker raised Campos.

“It’s crazy, it’s just crazy,” she said.

“That’s senseless, just senseless,” said Linda Romero, a friend of the family.

The chase started in Coffee County when police said Garieon Simmons, 28, stole an SUV from a funeral home. He then led deputies on a high-speed chase on I-24 into Rutherford County.

Recorded radio transmissions indicate Simmons was at times going the wrong way on the interstate.

Deputies had spike strips ready to puncture his tires.

“Spikes ready after the 84,” one deputy said on the radio transmission.

But Simmons wasn’t giving up and wasn’t slowing down.

“Speed is at 90. He’s all over the road. He’s using every bit of it,” one deputy said.

Simmons would ultimately wreck near the corner of Veterans Parkway and Highway 231, killing Campos and injuring another woman.

“Head-on collision, head-on collision. He has wiped out, car is on fire,” one deputy said. “Three vehicles involved.”

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department would not say who in its department authorized the chase. It’s currently under investigation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Some critics said Rutherford deputies should have ended the pursuit when it entered a busy area on a Friday afternoon.

Murfreesboro Police Chief James Durr wrote a letter to the city council, saying it was the “worst possible time to conduct and vehicle pursuit,” and that “many of our officers are deeply upset over the decisions which led to this tragedy.”

Durr asked council members to ask the legislature to prohibit police chases unless a violent felony has been committed.

Campos’ relatives and friends said they could not agree more.

“I think there ought to be a law against chases like that, for a stolen car,” Romero said.

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