University 'Incensed' After Georgia Cops Search Team Bus

Deputies seemed confident that women from historically black university had weed
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2022 3:40 PM CDT

It was April 20, and the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team was headed home up I-95. Near Savannah, Georgia, their charter bus was pulled over by Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies. According to USA Today, the driver "was initially told he was improperly traveling in the left lane." Soon after, officers boarded the bus to announce a search. In video captured by a player, one officers says, "If there is anything in y’all’s luggage, we’re probably gonna find it, OK? I’m not looking for a little bit of marijuana, but I’m pretty sure you guys' chaperones are probably gonna be disappointed in you if we find any."

DSU is a historically Black university. The deputies were all white. The story was originally detailed on DSU’s Hornet Online in a report by a player, who says the team was racially profiled. With the aid of drug-sniffing dogs, police removed and searched players’ luggage. At one point, a deputy returned to the bus holding a gift-wrapped package and summoned senior Aniya Aiken, whose name was on it. She told him it was a gift from a family member, and she’d promised not to open it until she got home. The officer asked, "You accepted something and don’t know what it is?" It turned out to be jewelry. After their search turned up nothing, police sent the team on their way.

Per WDEL News, coach Pamella Jenkins said Tuesday, "I want [police] to know that that was a traumatic experience. We had some young ladies that that was their first experience with law enforcement." In a statement released Monday, DSU President Tony Allen condemned police actions, saying, "No one should be made to feel unsafe or humiliated by law enforcement or any entity who has sworn to protect and serve them." Per ABC 6, Allen also said he reached out to the state’s governor, attorney general, and congressional delegation, among others, and "they, like me, are incensed." USA Today says the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office has not yet replied to requests for comment. (Read more historically black colleges stories.)

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