President of HBCU Delaware State ‘incensed’ by sheriffs’ and canine’s search of workforce bus

“We don’t intend to let this or some other incident prefer it go idly by,” College President Tony Allen stated .

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The president of a traditionally Black school accused sheriff’s deputies in Georgia of intimidating and humiliating the varsity girls’s lacrosse workforce when deputies pulled over the athletes’ bus and searched it for medication.

Delaware State College President Tony Allen stated he’s “incensed” by the April 20 site visitors cease alongside Interstate 95 south of Savannah because the workforce returned from a recreation in Florida. In a letter to college students and college, Allen stated nothing unlawful was discovered and campus officers have been “exploring choices for recourse — authorized and in any other case.”

“We don’t intend to let this or some other incident prefer it go idly by,” Allen stated in the letter posted Monday on the college’s social media pages.

Delaware State College college students enter the Dover campus in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. (William Bretzger, Delaware Information Journal, USA TODAY NETWORK)

Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman, who’s Black, stated Tuesday his workplace is conducting a proper evaluation of the site visitors cease. He stated deputies had stopped different business autos the identical morning alongside I-95 and located medication on a unique bus. The workforce’s chartered bus was stopped as a result of it was touring within the left lane, which is a violation of Georgia legislation, he stated.

The sheriff stated deputies determined to look the workforce’s bus when a drug-sniffing canine “alerted” alongside it.

“I don’t train racial profiling, enable racial profiling or encourage racial profiling,” Bowman informed reporters. The sheriff added that primarily based on what he already is aware of, “I imagine the cease was authorized.”

Nobody was arrested or charged. The sheriff stated the bus driver was given a warning.

Video posted on-line by one of many Delaware State lacrosse gamers exhibits two white deputies on the bus. Considered one of them tells the bus passengers that possessing marijuana stays unlawful in Georgia.

“If there may be something in y’all’s baggage, we’re most likely going to search out it, OK,” the deputy says. “I’m not on the lookout for a bit of little bit of marijuana, however I’m fairly positive you guys’ chaperones are most likely going to be upset in you if we discover any.”

The deputy continues : “You guys are on a lacrosse workforce, appropriate? If there’s something in there that’s questionable, please inform me now. As a result of if we discover it, guess what? We’re not going to have the ability to allow you to.”

Sydney Anderson, the scholar who posted the video, wrote within the campus publication The Hornet Newspaper that workforce members felt there was “underlying racism” behind the search.

“The workforce members have been in shock, as they witnessed the officers rambling by their luggage,” Anderson wrote. “They introduced the Okay-9 canine out to smell their baggage. The cops started tossing underwear and different female merchandise, in an try to find narcotics.”

Georgia courts have held that the odor of marijuana is sufficient to give police possible trigger to look autos and not using a warrant.

The sheriff stated he welcomed suggestions from the lacrosse workforce.

“We understand that on this present surroundings, even a site visitors cease will be alarming to residents,” Bowman stated, “particularly African People.”

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