Delaware State University lacrosse team's bus stopped for traffic violation, turns into drug search in Georgia
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on May 10, 2022 |
Riding home on a charter bus after a three-game tour in Florida and Georgia, Delaware State University’s women’s lacrosse coach was surprised when the driver suddenly pulled off Interstate 95.
The officers allege the bus driver was incorrectly driving in the left lane and asked him to step off the bus.
"After that, they came on the bus and they told us they were going to be checking through our luggage," recalled sophomore lacrosse player Sydney Anderson. "They didn't ask us, they told us."
“We’re sitting on the bus waiting, and then one of my student athletes says, ‘They’re pulling our luggage off of the bus,’’’ coach Pamella Jenkins recalled in an interview Monday. “And so we all look over, and then we see a dog sniffing and going through our belongings, going through the bags as they’re coming off of the bus.”
The coach said it wasn’t lost on the bus’s occupants that the deputies were white and that she and most of her team and staff are Black.
At one point, another player started filming when officers asked players to admit if there were **** on board.
"If there is something there that is questionable, please tell me now," said one of the officers in the video. "Because if we find it, guess what? We're not going to be able to help you.
In the state of Georgia, marijuana is still illegal."
Jenkins described one exchange that was not captured on the video WHYY viewed.
“One of my student athletes asks the question, ‘How did this go from a routine traffic stop to dogs sniffing for ****, animals going through our things?’ And he says on these highways that they often see charter buses smuggling **** or people and they have to be vigilant to stop that from happening.”
Jenkins and her players then watched with incredulity as three deputies spent about 30 minutes ransacking their bags.
They pulled out some of the women’s underwear during the search, and even unwrapped a gift one girl had received on the trip from a friend in her native Georgia when they played Kennesaw State University, she said.
The students and the interior of the bus were not searched. The officers did not find anything during the search.
Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen said in a statement, "Our student-athletes, coaches, and the subcontracted bus driver are all safe. I have spoken with many of them, and in the course of investigating this incident in conjunction with our General Counsel and Athletic Director, I have also reached out to Delaware's Governor, Congressional delegation, Attorney General, and Black Caucus. They, like me, are incensed. We have also reached out to Georgia Law Enforcement and are exploring options for recourse-legal and otherwise-available to our student-athletes, our coaches, and the University."
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