VICE News is closely monitoring policing in America. Check out the Officer Involved blog here.
The chief of the Norfolk, Virginia police department said that force used by his officers during an arrest of a student on Sunday was unreasonable — despite the fact that the department has yet to conclude its investigation of the incident.
London Colvin, a 21-year-old Norfolk State University junior and US Army reservist, was at an off-campus party when a fight broke out and spilled into the street at about 2am on Sunday. Colvin's cousin Whitney Dunn told local news station 13 News Now that Colvin left the party while the fight was still underway.
Police responded and stopped Colvin, who reportedly refused to answer questions. When police attempted to arrest her, they allegedly took her to the ground, at which point, Dunn said, a police K-9 was released. After the attack, police brought Colvin to a hospital, where she was treated for injuries including a leg wound.
She was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct.
According to Chief Michael Goldsmith, internal investigators still have interviews to conduct with officers and witnesses, but he was willing to reach certain conclusions about the arrest.
"I feel I have enough information to determine the use of force in Ms. Colvin's arrest was unreasonable," Goldsmith said. "I will address my officers' actions through our disciplinary process."
Goldsmith took responsibility for department procedures, saying, "My review of the policies governing the use of police canines continues. This review will ensure that Norfolk canines are used appropriately in all circumstances."
Family members said Colvin is out of the hospital but will require plastic surgery. She is set to appear in court March 30.
Photo via Flickr