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Navajo Nation Map

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservations in the U.S. and includes portions of western New Mexico, southern Utah and three counties in Arizona —Apache, Navajo and Coconino.

WINDOW ROCK (AP) — All flags on the Navajo Nation will be flown at half-staff through Thursday to honor the first officer on the tribal police force to die from the coronavirus in the line of duty.

Officer Michael Lee died June 19 at a Phoenix hospital.

The 50-year-old Lee served 29 years with the tribal police department, beginning his law enforcement career as a police recruit with the Navajo Police Academy in October 1990.

He worked his first seven years in Window Rock and the rest of his career in Chinle.

Tribal officials said Lee is survived by a wife and children.

Lee’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday at the Potter’s House Christian Center in Chinle.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer said in a statement that Lee “fought on the front lines to combat coronavirus and we are grateful for his dedication to our community.”

The Navajo Nation’s vast reservation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah and has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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