NSU student considers lawsuit after police dog attack

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The attorney representing a Norfolk State University student wounded by a Norfolk police dog said Tuesday that her life is in “complete upheaval,” and she is considering suing the city.

London Colvin left a message for supporters in a video posted to Instagram. “Hey, everybody. I’m doing okay, and I want to say thanks to everybody who’s doing their thing. I appreciate you,” Colvin said in the video message.

Colvin’s attorney, Jon Babineau, said she may need plastic surgery or a skin graft, but that won’t be able to fix everything.

“She’s having a rough go. Right now, she’s still dealing with the significant medical issues, the pain associated with the injury to her leg, and then there’s a kind of emotional upheaval in her life, too,” Babineau said.

He said the attack started when his client was down on the ground, following a house party.

“The K-9 officer came up and was asking to see her hands and she said, ‘I can’t get my hands out because the two police officers are on my back pushing me down,’ and then after he requested that she remove her hands, he then put the dog in attack mode on her,” Babineau said.

A Norfolk police spokesman said he could not discuss details of the incident.

Babineau, a former Norfolk police officer, agreed with Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith’s assessment: the police response was unreasonable. He said the city attorney and Commonwealth’s attorney are working to drop charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest against Colvin. Babineau said he and Colvin are talking about suing the city.

“It’s something that we’re exploring, at this point. We’re only eight, nine days out. I’m only newly involved in the case. There certainly is a significant civil aspect of this case … . The police conduct in this case, appears to mimic the words of the police chief, was unreasonable,” Babineau said.

Babineau said his client did not resist arrest and was not disorderly, but that she was loud the night of the incident. He said he and other lawyers are meeting on Friday in court, where he expects the charges will be dropped.

The city attorney has said the city will pay for the medical expenses not covered by Colvin’s insurance.

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