Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye spoke at the “Justice4Loreal” vigil in front of the Winslow Police Department on Saturday, April 2. Photo Courtesy of Red Nation.
Published April 2, 2016
WINSLOW, ARIZONA—In a display of strong leadership, the president of the Navajo Nation journeyed to Winslow, Arizona to speak at the “Justice4Loreal” vigil on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye spoke to the crowd that numbered about 350 people, mostly American Indians, in front of the Winslow Police Department.
“To the city of Winslow, we will sue you,” said an obviously irritated President Begaye, who speech was very supportive of the slain Tsingine’s family. He said he will put the full weight of the Navajo Nation in support of her family.
The vigil comes six days after Loreal Tsingine was brutally shot five times by Winslow Police Officer Austin Shipley on Easter Sunday. Tsingine, 27, was a tribal citizen of the Navajo Nation. Shipley is Caucasian.
Tsingine was stopped by two Winslow police officers who suspected her of shoplifting at the local Circle K convenience store late Easter afternoon. She was carrying a pair of scissors, who family members have told Native News Online she used to cut her hair split-ends.
The official statement from law enforcement said the officer felt threatened.
Because of the brutal killing of Tsingine , who was a mother of a 7-year-old daughter, tensions are running high in Winslow, which is a border town to the Navajo Nation.
Some in the crowd carried signs with various messages on them, One read: “Life is Precious #Justive4Loreal.”
On Thursday, President Begaye called for an indepedent investigation into the killing of Tsingine by Police Officer Shipley. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating as a normal course of events when a police officer kills a citizen. The small size of the Winslow Police Department warrants the state to come in to investigate.