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Navajo Sues Department Of Justice Over Officer-Involved Shooting Death

Tsingine
Courtesy of Floranda Dempsey
Loreal Tsingine was shot five times and killed by Winslow Officer Austin Shipley on March 27.

The Navajo Nation has sued the federal government and the city of Winslow over the death of a tribal member shot by a police officer two years ago. 

Police said the 27-year-old Loreal Tsingine posed a threat to now-former Winslow Officer Austin Shipley, when she pulled a pair of scissors on him. Shipley shot her five times, killing her. 

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office cleared Shipley in the shooting. The U.S. Department of Justice reviewed the case and says it couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt the officer willfully used excessive force.

The tribe filed its lawsuit on behalf of Tsingine’s daughter. The suit alleges violations of civil and constitutional rights, and seeks unspecified damages. 

The Justice Department and the city declined to comment.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.