Warning: Details included in this story may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
The family of a Dartmouth, N.S., woman alleged to have swung a dog by its leash during a roadside dispute is denouncing racist abuse directed at her after video of the incident went viral.
Clarissa Crawley, 27, who is Black, was charged one week after the July 1 incident with assault with a weapon and wilfully causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
In a statement, Crawley’s family says there have been racially charged hate messages about her circulating on social media since she was identified.
Her family says in a statement that she feels deep remorse for the treatment of the dog, which belonged to another woman, and says she never intended it any harm.
But they say the viral video doesn’t capture the beginning or end of the altercation, which they allege included a struggle over a necklace belonging to Crawley and racial slurs levelled at her.
“Such racial slurs immediately instill anger and fury inside a person, and those who spew such hate know this,” the statement said.
Halifax Regional Police have said the arrest came about after investigators became aware of social media video of the altercation that showed the alleged mistreatment of a dog.
Police had responded to a call about the altercation, but neither side wanted to pursue a criminal complaint.
And while there were initial reports of a dog involved, the extent of the alleged mistreatment wasn’t clear, and two dogs in one of the vehicles appeared in good health.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2020.