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Outrage over Georgia police search of HBCU’S team bus


People around the country are expressing outrage after learning of a police stop in Georgia of a team bus carrying students from an HBCU from the state of Delaware. This all happened at the end of April when the Delaware State University bus was stopped and searched in Liberty County. 

The president of the historically Black college accused sheriff’s deputies in Georgia of intimidating and humiliating the school women’s lacrosse team when deputies pulled over the athletes’ bus along Interstate 95 south of Savannah and searched it for drugs as the team returned from a game in Florida.

In a letter to students and faculty, Delaware State University President Tony Allen – who is “incensed” by the April 20 traffic,  said nothing illegal was found and campus officials were “exploring options for recourse — legal and otherwise.”

Liberty County in coastal Georgia is about 260 miles from Atlanta. A deputy stopped the bus because the driver was violating a state law requiring that type of vehicle to travel in the two right-hand lanes, the county’s sheriff said.

The Delaware State University lacrosse team bus was returning from Florida when it was pulled over on I-95 in Liberty County. Six white deputies and a police dog searched the bus for drugs and found none, head coach Pamella Jenkins said. Coach Jenkins, the women’s lacrosse team coach at the predominantly Black university believes South Georgia deputies racially profiled her team during the April 20 traffic stop that is being investigated by local law enforcement and the school. 

A video recorded by someone on the bus shows a deputy asking the team to tell them now if anyone has marijuana, devices to smoke or weigh it or other “questionable” items. One student asked the deputies why they wanted to search the bus, Jenkins said. The deputy said that they frequently find drugs or human trafficking during traffic stops, the coach recalled. 

The Delaware governor is calling on authorities in Georgia to take action against the Georgia deputies. His concerns are echoed by Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings who has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the incident. 

“By all accounts, these young women represented their school and our state with class — and they were rewarded with a questionable-at-best search through their belongings in an effort to find contraband that did not exist,” Jennings wrote in a letter to the DOJ. “Not only did the deputies find nothing illegal in the bags, they did not issue a single ticket for the alleged traffic infraction.” 

Delaware Gov. John Carney and the state’s congressional delegation have condemned the incident. “I have watched the video of this incident — it is upsetting, concerning, and disappointing,” Carney said in a statement. “Moments like these should be relegated to part of our country’s complicated history, but they continue to occur with sad regularity in communities across our country. It’s especially hard when it impacts our own community.” 


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