Delaware State University’s women's lacrosse files civil rights complaint
The Delaware State women’s lacrosse team. The team’s bus was pulled over last month by Georgia sheriff’s deputies and searched by a drug-sniffing dog.Credit...Pamella Jenkins, via Delaware State University
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The Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division against the Georgia sheriffs who stopped the team bus last month.

Last week Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings called on officials in the U.S. DOJ to investigate what the team said was an instance of racial profiling.

“Like so many others, I’m deeply troubled by the actions that our Delaware State University Women’s Lacrosse team and staff endured in Georgia this past April,” Jennings said in the statement. “These students and coaches were not in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time,” Jennings said. “Not only did the deputies find nothing illegal in the bags; they did not issue a single ticket for the alleged traffic infraction.”

Delaware State University Team Bus Stopped and Searched

The stop took place on April 20 as the team’s charter bus was traveling north from Florida through Liberty County, Georgia, just south of Savannah.

President of the Historically Black College and University (HCBU), Tony Allen, said in a statement that “law enforcement members [were] attempting to intimidate our student-athletes into confessing to possession of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia.”

For the players and coaches, they felt the stop took a racial turn when a K-9 dog began sniffing the luggage area for drugs. 

Officers entered the bus telling the HBCU players “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.”

YouTube video

The school says the stop and search conducted by the Liberty County, Ga., deputies was “constitutionally dubious.”

“From our standpoint, the evidence is clear and compelling,” said Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University, according to NPR.

Allen says once the complaint is officially filed, it will be made available to the campus community to read.

“I do not intend to debate the merits of our complaint in the public square,” he said.

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...

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