Former Navajo Nation Police Officer Sentenced in Connection with the beating of Arizona man


WASHINGTON - Former Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety Police Officer Christine Lillie Thinn, 36, has been sentenced to six months in prison for a civil rights conviction in connection with the beating of Newton Charlie on Jan. 1, 2009. Thinn was also sentenced to serve six months of home confinement following her release.

According to evidence presented at trial in June 2011, Mr. Charlie was under arrest and had been in police custody for an hour when Thinn transported him approximately 30 miles to the Tuba City, Ariz., jail. After arriving at the jail, Thinn sprayed Mr. Charlie's face with pepper spray, pulled him from the patrol vehicle, and then repeatedly kicked and stomped the non-resisting arrestee as he lay on the ground.

"When law enforcement officers abuse their power and violate the civil rights of those in their custody, they will be held accountable," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who cross the line to engage in acts of criminal misconduct."

This case was investigated by Special Agent Ezell Grisby of FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Bachus from the U.S. Attorney's Office for District of Arizona and Civil Rights Division Criminal Section Trial Attorney D.W. Tunnage.


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