DSU files complaint following “dubious stop and search” on the women’s lacrosse team

DELAWARE – Delaware State University is filing a complaint following a traffic stop in Georgia while their women’s lacrosse team returned home.

The traffic stop then turned into a search for illegal drugs. The stop was made on I-95 by the Liberty County, Georgia Sheriff’s Department on April 20th. and many are concerned about how race may have affected the stop and search.

Delaware State University’s President Dr. Tony Allen announced that they have filed a complaint to the U.S Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights. The university president believes the search was inappropriate and implicit bias occurred in the way the sheriffs conducted themselves. Dr. Allen says the basis of the complaint will be police misconduct, which he called a constitutionally dubious stop and search.

“We believe both the stop and the search are a violation of rights—the rights of every passenger on the bus and those of the driver…We have been determined to be precise and deliberate in understanding the facts of the incident. Our intention was to let the fact pattern lead us to the most pointed action we can take as a University.” says University President, Dr. Tony Allen.

After speaking with Sheriff Bowman, Dr. Allen believes the stop and search raises serious constitutional and civil rights issues, however, he says the Sheriff disagrees.

“It is worth noting here that he ordered the release of body camera footage from one of the four officers involved in the incident, which he believes exonerates his department,” Dr. Allen says.

The University president also says that the school’s women’s lacrosse team is one of the only five division one lacrosse teams fielded by a Historically Black College or University in America. He says these student-athletes and coaches are exceptional, therefore the university stands behind the coaches, bus driver, and students’ next steps forward with their support as they are encouraged to use their voices for good, to be empowered.

The complaint will be made public for all to see once it is filed.

To view the Presidents’ full statement, click here. For our original story, click here.

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