Norfolk police reportedly allowed police dogs to attack London Colvin, an Army Reservist and Junior at Norfolk State University, after Colvin refused to answer questions about a fight in which she was not involved. The fight broke out off-campus around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. Colvin’s cousin, Whitney Dunn, said, “‘She was at a party off campus. She said that a fight broke out, and she had nothing to do with the fight. She did say she was at the party, and her and her friends were leaving,” as reported by Potomac Local.
Dunn said that her cousin admitted to being loud as she was leaving the party with friends, and when a police officer approached her about the fight she refused to talk to him. Two other police officers then approached Ms. Colvin, and when she still refused to answer questions, the officers held her on the ground and let the dogs attack her.
Eyewitnesses claim that the police sat on Colvin “while the dogs brutally bit and attacked her,” according to HBCUbuzz.com. The student, a private with the 3rd Brigade, 318th Regiment and 78th Training Division, based at Fort Belvoir, has not released a statement pertaining to the incident and is seeking legal counsel.
Kayla Cook, a NSU junior studying Tourism and Hospitality, told HBCUbuzz.com, “‘We want the word out about this. The police told her that she took the dogs better than other people have before. We don’t know how many people the officers have [been] attacked before [this incident].'”
According to Daniel Hudson, a Norfolk police spokesman, having police canines at scenes with massive crowds is standard protocol. “‘We responded to a massive fight that happened in the street. Apparently there was a call for about 35 individuals who were partaking in a physical fight in the middle of the street,'” Hudson stated. He explained that the canine was permitted to attack Colvin in an attempt to control the crowd and protect other witnesses.
“‘There was an officer that was attempting to place the woman in custody for disorderly conduct. When [the officer] tried to place her in custody, she became combative against the officer. Another officer attempted to restrain her, but again, there were multiple people around, so the canine officer deployed the dog to restrain the woman so nobody would get hurt,'” said Hudson.
Colvin was taken to the hospital, where she received 40 stitches to close several wounds. Her cousin told reporters that one of the leg wounds can’t be closed and will need plastic surgery. Dunn spoke on behalf of her Colvin’s family, saying, “‘How I felt about the situation was, and how I think my whole family feels about the situation is – we can understand her getting arrested, because she was being disorderly or anything like that – however she didn’t have a weapon. She can’t put her hands up, or remove her hands from anywhere, or do anything because she’s being restrained by two police officers. So to allow the dog [to attack] is the only thing that we have a problem with.'”
There have been no further details revealed regarding the incident.