Society

Arizona Officer Kills Woman Holding Scissors (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Loreal TsingineLoreal Tsingine

A police body camera video (below) released on July 27 shows the moments before Officer Austin Shipley fatally shot Loreal Tsingine in Winslow, Arizona, on March 27.

The video does not have audio, but there appears to be a brief struggle between the two. Tsingine falls on the ground, gets up and walks towards Shipley who aims his gun at her.

According to a July 22 press release from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, no criminal charges will be filed against Shipley.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery's news release referred to Tsingine as the woman, and said that police were responding to a call of a native American woman who was allegedly shoplifting and harassing employees at a local convenience store. When the officers arrived, the woman was gone.

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Police searched the area, according to Montgomery, and came upon the woman, who was walking on a sidewalk near the store. Tsingine was Navajo.

Montgomery added that Shipley tried to detain the woman, who didn't comply, resisted arrest and was brought down by Shipley.

The press release asserts the woman swung some scissors at Shipley, who backed up, pulled his gun and told the woman to drop the scissors.

According to Montgomery, the woman "aggressively advanced on the officer with scissors in hand" and Shipley shot her five times.

David Villaescusa, an ex-corrections officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections who helped raise Tsingine, told Native News Online in March: "She had a pair of scissors that she used to cut her hair split-ends. She stood only 5 feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds. Shipley, on the other hand, is over 6 feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. I don’t think he had to shoot her."

Villaescusa also said that an unidentified witness filmed the shooting on a cellphone: "I watched the video. She never raised those scissors towards the officer. It has been reported she stole a case of beer from the Circle K. I did not see any beer in the video."

Villaescusa added that he heard an officer tell other cops that Shipley got "trigger happy."

The Associated Press reported in April that Winslow Police Department documents show that two police officers who trained Shipley from May to September of 2013 had concerns about him.

Cpl. Ron Chisholm wrote a memo to higher ups that said: "I do not believe that this officer should be retained by the Winslow Police Department" for issues regarding integrity, suspect control, communication problems with other cops, not recounting facts correctly and questioning orders by training officers.

Chisholm wrote that Shipley was quick to put his hand on his gun, and added: "If this behavior continues, it is going to get someone hurt."

Cpl. Jason Thermen wrote in mid-July 2013 that Shipley thought a police badge allowed him harass and make fun of citizens, and recalled instances in which Shipley was "pouting" after not being allowed to fight with two citizens; Shipley did apologize to Thermen for his harassment comments.

Lawrence Dashee, a training officer, said Shipley had potential to evolve into a great cop if he followed his training officers.

Shipley would not comment to The Associated Press.

Sources: Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, AP via AZCentral, Native News Online / Photo credit: Winslow Police Department via YouTube

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