The police shooting death of a twenty-seven-year-old Navajo woman has sparked outrage across Arizona and beyond after the Winslow police department has refused to release information about the officer who was involved in the shooting.
Loreal Tsingine was killed on Easter Sunday in what authorities claimed that she threatened to use a pair of scissors against the officer. Tsingine was shot five times after an altercation that began with a shoplifting call at a Circle K.
Authorities claimed that the scissors presented a “substantial threat” to the officer, therefore, he discharged his weapon and fired at Tsingine resulting in her unfortunate death.
According to the police department, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
But members of the Red Nation told reporters, “Loreal is a victim of discrimination, and we want justice,” adding, “We can all relate to this case because we have all been racially profiled by law enforcement. While we are saddened at Loreal’s death, we’re not surprised because we know that this is a systemic issue”.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a statement, “We hear about these types of shootings happening across the country. If there is no legitimate justification for taking Tsingine’s life, then the Navajo Nation wants the fullest extent of the law to be taken in serving justice”.
Two hundred demonstrators gathered on Saturday outside the Winslow Police Department demanding the name of the officer involved in the shooting be released, calling for an unbiased investigation, and to honor the life of Loreal Tsingine.
Members of the Navajo Nation say that Tsingine suffered discrimination and excessive force. They plan on demanding a separate investigation by the United States Department of Justice.