|Photo by Klee Benally in Winslow, Arizona|
Today, July 25, 2016: Protest Maricopa County Attorney's decision at 7:30 a.m., 301 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, Arizona
Coalition Protests Maricopa County's Failure to Prosecute Killer Cop Who Murdered Loreal Tsingine
By Monica Spencer, Coalition Organizer
PHOENIX – The Bordertown Justice Coalition, in response to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Winslow Police Officer Austin Shipley for killing Loreal Tsingine (Diné/Navajo), will hold a protest on July 25 at 7:30 AM in front of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at 301 West Jefferson St., Phoenix.
“I was upset and horrified when I heard that our Diné relative was ruthlessly murdered,” Brandon Benallie said. “I was even more appalled when I learned that her body remained in the street until 6:00 AM the next day, which was a further degradation of her humanity and a violation of Navajo customs and beliefs”
Since Tsingine’s murder, the coalition has been working with the Tsingine family to demand justice (see attached demands) and have held a number of protests and community meetings in Winslow.
Rather than resolving the matter immediately and justly, Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon prolonged the matter by deferring the final decision on what criminal charges would be brought against Austin Shipley to Maricopa County.
“From the beginning we demanded, on behalf of the Tsingine family, a third-party investigation,” said Andrew Curley. “Instead Navajo County passed the buck to Maricopa County, a county with a history of violence and racism toward Indigenous people and other people of color.”
The Maricopa County Attorney Office media release distributed on July 22 did not reference the Arizona policies and procedures that were used to make their decision.
“Rather than offering a justification for not prosecuting the killer cop, Montgomery’s decision can only be understood as a flippant, lazy attempt to dismiss their negligence,” Monica Spencer stated. “Montgomery failed to offer any recourse or justice for Loreal’s family and her community.”
The Bordertown Justice Coalition is comprised of individuals and members of organizations such as: Arizona to Rally Against Native American Mascots, Black Lives Matter Phoenix, The Red Nation, and Council Advocating an Indigenous Manifesto.
To learn more about the Bordertown Justice Coalition or to participate in future actions, you can ‘like’ the coalition on Facebook.
The Bordertown Justice Coalition demands:
- An independent review, which must include Navajo Nation government representation, of Loreal Tsingine’s murder. The independent review must not include another Arizona state-entity.
- For the safety of the Winslow community and Indigenous people, the immediate termination of Winslow Police Chief Stephen Garnett, as well as Winslow Police lieutenant Ken Arrend and killer cop Austin Shipley.
- AZ DPS’ full report as well as any and all evidence, including Shipley’s body-cam recordings, be made publicly available immediately.
- An U.S. Department of Justice inquiry into the systemic and pervasive racial profiling and harassment of Arizona police against Indigenous peoples.
- An official public apology from the City of Winslow to the family and community of Loreal Tsingine for her murder by Austin Shipley. The apology must be made in Teesto, AZ, with State and National news media present.
- The City of Winslow must compensate the Tsingine family for all expenses related to Loreal’s murder by Austin Shipley.
- Any and all income paid to Austin Shipley by the City of Winslow during his administrative leave be immediately returned to the City of Winslow.
- The Navajo Nation file a complaint to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) and U.N. Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for rampant abuse, harassment, and treaty violations in U.S. policing of indigenous peoples
Also see: Navajo Times 'Family of Loreal Tsingine in disbelief over Maricopa County Attorney Decision