Justice department investigating fatal police shooting of Loreal Tsingine – Jamiles Lartey Saturday 30 July 2016 15.02 EDT

Tsingine, a Native American, was killed by officer Austin Shipley in late March as fatal shootings of Native Americans by police have increased in 2016

In body-camera footage, Loreal Tsingine is seen getting up and walking toward an officer with a small pair of scissors in her left hand, and another officer quickly approaches her from behind.

The Justice Department will investigate the police shooting of a Native American woman in Arizona, a spokesman said on Friday, a day after footage released by the Winslow police department raised concerns about racial bias in the fatal shooting.

The department’s civil rights division will review the local investigation into the March 27 shooting death of Loreal Tsingine, spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said.

Tsingine, 27, was shot and killed by the Winslow police officer Austin Shipley in late March after officers suspected her of shoplifting in a local store and confronted her. Silent body-camera footage, first obtained by the Arizona Daily Sun, shows a police officer trying to restrain Tsingine then shoving her to the ground and finally drawing a gun on her as she approaches him.

In the video, Tsingine gets up and walks toward Shipley with a small pair of medical scissors in her left hand, and another officer quickly approaches her from behind. Shipley draws his gun and directs it at Tsingine, and the footage is cut off before he fires the fatal shot.

The shooting was ruled justified by the Maricopa County attorney’s office last Friday.

Tsingine’s aunt, Floranda Dempsey, said her niece was 5ft tall and weighed 95lbs. “They should have been able to subdue her with their huge size and weight,” she said. “It wasn’t like she came at them first. I’m sure anyone would be mad if they were thrown around.” She added a question: “Where were the tasers, pepper sprays, batons?”

The family filed a $10.5m wrongful death lawsuit against the city at the beginning of the month, claiming that “the city of Winslow was negligent in hiring, training, retaining, controlling and supervising” the officer who killed Tsingine.

Shipley’s training records show two of his fellow officers had serious concerns that he was too quick to go for his service weapon, that he ignored directives from superiors, and that he was liable to falsify reports and not control his emotions.

A day before Shipley’s training ended, nearly three years ago, a police corporal recommended that the Winslow police department not retain him.

“They were warned he was likely to hurt someone back in 2013 or so, by another commanding officer,” Floranda said. “It’s unbelievable as to why he was still allowed to wear a badge.”

Floranda said watching the video shocked her and made her angry, and that all she saw was “a bully who got angry for getting his ego squashed” by a small Native American woman.

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If You Want To Understand Why Mascots Like ‘Redskins’ Are A Problem, Listen To This 15-Year-Old Native American by Travis Waldron Posted on July 23, 2014 at 11:21 am Updated: July 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Many schools, like Neshaminy High in Pennsylvania, still use the "Redskins" nickname.

Many schools, like Neshaminy High in Pennsylvania, still use the “Redskins” nickname.


Dahkota Franklin Kicking Bear Brown can’t remember a time when he didn’t look forward to high school football games. But every year, there is one game on the annual Argonaut High School football schedule that Brown doesn’t enjoy.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always gone to my high school football games, and once I got into high school, it made it that much more fun being on the field,” Brown said Tuesday. “But there has always been one game I dreaded going to. One of our school’s biggest rivals is the Calaveras Redskins. Calaveras has always had an obscene amount of school pride, but little do they know how damaging their routines are, not only to the Natives in attendance, but most likely to the Native Americans who attend their own school.”

Brown, a 15-year-old Native American student from California, told the story of playing against Calaveras High School in a powerful speech about the effects of Native American mascots and imagery in sports during an event on the subject at the Center for American Progress (full disclosure: I participated in a panel discussion at the event; the Center for American Progress is the parent company of this site).

Calaveras games feature stereotypical behavior, Brown said: war paint, drums, buckskin outfits on cheerleaders, and faux-Native chanting. Calaveras’ opponents can be even worse, Brown said, using the “Redskins” nickname to justify all sorts of behavior that makes Native American students and players like him more than uncomfortable.

“All of these actions, along with many more, hurt my heart. With so many around me, I feel ganged up on,” he continued. “At the same time, all of these screaming fans don’t know how offensive they are. Or that they are even in the presence of a Native. Most of the time, they don’t even know that Natives still exist.”

Watch the full speech:

The subject of Native American mascots has received more scrutiny over the last year as a rising chorus of Native American groups, political leaders, civil rights organizations, and media outlets have focused on the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. But the NFL team isn’t the only one using names like “Redskins” or Native American imagery: in California alone, Brown said, more than 180 schools use such names, mascots, and logos, and while the number across the country has fallen significantly from its peak, more than 900 uses of such imagery still exist in sports at the scholastic, collegiate, and professional levels.

Those names and logos have major effects on young Native Americans like Brown, who detailed personal experiences with the loss of identity and the invisibility that those mascots help create. He said that teachers had told him and friends that they “had no idea you all were Native”; he told the story of a time when he dressed as Red Cloud, a famous former chief of the Oglala Lakota tribe, for a report at school only to bullied and ridiculed by other students. Brown started a nonprofit organization to promote Native youth, and through it, he has seen even worse experiences from other students.

“There are countless Native students who feel the same as I do,” Brown said. “I’m here as a voice for all Native students. It’s time to change the name and change the mascot, not only at Calaveras but across the nation.”

“The amount of pain felt by our Native youth outweighs the pain of any dedicated racist mascot fans by an immeasurable amount,” Brown concluded. “It’s time for a change.”


Native Americans reject ‘super drunk’ label – 20 May 2014 Lst updated at 14:56 ET

BBC Trending

Chief Phil Lane of the Yankton Dakota and Chickasaw First Nations awaits his introduction to speak at a climate rally in Los Angeles

No to mascots with feathered headdresses and “Red Indian” references – Native Americans are using social media to change the way US culture represents them.

Who would want to be called “super-drunk”? Or how about Sioux per drunk? Sioux is the name sometimes used for the Native American Lakota and Dakota tribes. And these were the words on a T-shirt worn by some students at the University of North Dakota at a gathering earlier this month.

The T-shirt shows a logo of the Fighting Sioux – which used to be the mascot for the university – with a “beer bong” funnel in his mouth and two large glasses of overflowing drink. Students posted smiling pictures of themselves wearing the T-shirts to Twitter and Facebook, and it wasn’t long before the images came across the timelines of Native Americans in the area.

“The images spread like wildfire over social media,” says Ruth Hopkins a former student at the university from the Dakota and Lakota tribe, and a founding writer of the Native American website LastRealIndians. “Native Americans wanted answers,” she says. Hopkins wrote a blog condemning the students, and started the hashtag #Siouxperdrunk. It went on to be used thousands of times, mostly by Native Americans, who – like her – were angered by the affair.

Hip hop artist Mic Jordan tells BBC Trending’s Mukul Devichand why many Native Americans were offended

Some students apologised on social media. Others said the T-shirts were just a joke, and not meant to be “mean or hurtful”. Some cited free speech in defence of their actions, or said people need to “get a thicker skin”. The company that printed the T-shirts apologised, and – in a Facebook post – the president of the University of North Dakota, said he was “appalled”.

“It was highly offensive,” says Native American hip hop artist Jordan Brien, aka Mic Jordan, who was one of those who tweeted about the story. For him, the depiction of a Native American drinking alcohol had a personal resonance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is the fifth most common cause of death among Native Americans – significantly higher than among the general US public. And Brien has seen this first hand. His uncle died of liver cirrhosis, and his stepfather has recently been diagnosed too. “My stepdad is that siouxperdrunk,” he says. “He’s dying.” It’s just plain wrong, says Brien, to make a joke out of this.

The backlash against the T-shirts is the latest in a series of social media campaigns by Native Americans, unhappy at the way they are often represented in wider US society. Sports teams, Hollywood films, and major fashion companies have all been singled out for criticism, often with specially-created hashtags.

A couple of the early tweets about the “beer bomb” T-shirts

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Are People Letting Karl Lagerfeld Off the Hook for His Native American Headdresses? – BY ISABEL WILKINSON – 12/11/13 at 3:59 PM

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We’ve been here too many times before. It happened last year, when Karlie Kloss wore a Native American headdress onstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (and later apologized); to H&M last summer, when it pulled $15 faux-feather headdresses off its shelves following complaints; and when Urban Outfitters’s tone-deaf Navajo underwear resulted in the brand being sued by the Navajo Nation in 2011. But what happens when the cultural appropriation in question isn’t being perpetrated by a mall brand — what if fashion’s resident high priest is the one behind the feather headdresses?

On Monday night, at his Métier d’Arts show in Dallas, Karl Lagerfeld showed a 94-piece pre-fall 2014 collection inspired, as he put it, by “the idea of Old Texas, even before the Civil War,” as an homage to the warm welcome Coco Chanel received when she visited the city in 1957. The show brought 900 people into an old barn with straw floors, an old-timey drive-through, and (duh) an after-party with a mechanical bull. Every single Texan trope, made “chic” by Karl Lagerfeld and his fashion fairy dust.

The show began with tweed skirt-suits paired with boots, fringed accessories, beaded embellishments, and printed blanket skirts. Lagerfeld’s little godson even modeled jeans, a cowboy hat, and (great messaging here) a miniature diamond-encrusted gun.

Models came down the runway with Native American—inspired feathers sticking out of their hair – imprinted with the double Cs – and gold cheekbone makeup that appeared to be a strange interpretation of Native American face paint. Hmm. Then, for the finale, Lagerfeld sent out enormous white feathered headdresses, one of which extended to the model’s ankles. Oof. “You knew he was going to go there,” tweeted InStyle’s new fashion news director, Eric Wilson.

Afterwards, the pitch-perfect Dallas Buyer’s Club in the front row abounded with praise. “It’s going to make a fortune for Chanel because there are so many people who have ranches and country homes,” Texan socialite Becca Cason Thrash told WWD. “I wanted like 99 percent of it.”

Others were not quite so excited to wear the designs at their country estates: Elle.com’s Faran Krentcil said the headdresses “left a sour taste for some.” Wrote Fashionista’s Alyssa Vingan: “We’re honestly shocked that those headdresses were given the thumbs up to walk down the runway.” But more people just expressed a general: Seriously? Not again. 

Criticism was lenient relative to the ire sparked by Kloss at Victoria’s Secret. “Chanel put a model in full Native American headdress for its Dallas finale look and no one will say a word about it…,” tweeted one user. It’s hard not to wonder: Have people let Karl Lagerfeld off the hook for his Native American misappropriations because he’s Karl Lagerfeld? Because his designs are somehow deemed more tasteful because they’re high fashion? How is it possible that designers haven’t yet gotten the memo that this isn’t okay? Between blackface andbindi fiascos, it seems like there’s a new moment like this every few months. So let’s all be loud and clear here: It’s never cute to use Native American headgear in your collections. Even if you’re Karl Lagerfeld.

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