- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) - An independent review of the Winslow Police Department says better training for new recruits is a “pressing need” following an officer’s deadly shooting of a woman last year.

The review stemmed from the March 2016 shooting of a 27-year-old Navajo woman, Loreal Tsingine, who was shot five times after allegedly shoplifting while holding a pair of scissors, KPNX-TV (https://bit.ly/2o70jKb) reported.

Winslow is located about 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) south of the Navajo Nation Reservation and Native American activists protested the shooting saying it was excessive.

Tsingine’s family filed a $10.5 million notice of claim for her husband and her 8-year-old daughter.

The legal action claimed the police department was negligent in “hiring, training, retaining, controlling and supervising” the officer.

Tsingine’s death came at a time when activists in major U.S. cities were regularly protesting fatal police shootings.

Former Officer Austin Shipley, who shot Tsingine, resigned in October after results of an internal investigation surfaced.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said they acted as an independent prosecutorial review and, in July, found no evidence of criminal conduct by Shipley.

“In light of everything that occurred, we felt that we should examine ourselves a little more closely,” Winslow City Manager Steve Pauken said.

The city hired the Police Executive Research Forum to conduct the review, which highlighted recommendations to ensure necessary hiring, accountability, use of force and leadership is in place.

Among the recommendations was the need of a smoother transition from the academy into the field for new recruits, according to the report.

A formal chief’s advisory committee was also suggested, which the NAACP was interested in, according to the report.

“Made up of a cross section of the citizens that’s representative of the population here and when there’s an issue with something that might be racist or a cop saved somebody’s life, they can be attaboys or bad boys,” said Pete Henderson, media chair with the NAACP. “It can go either way.”

The department did, however, receive credit in the review for changes it made after the shooting, including efforts to place more officers on the streets. It also received credit for community outreach events such as “shop with a cop” and “coffee with a cop.”


Information from: KPNX-TV, https://www.12news.com

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