Racial profiling? Delaware State team bus stopped, searched in Georgia

Delaware State University students received an education about potential racial profiling and questionable law enforcement practices, with a charter bus traveling through Georgia as their classroom.

It’s certain to be a lesson they’ll long remember, but its occurrence has raised eyebrows well beyond the DSU campus in Dover.  

Its women’s lacrosse team was traveling north on I-95 in Liberty County, Georgia, southwest of Savannah, on April 20. The Hornets were returning home after playing their final game of the season at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, on April 19.

Bus driver Tim Jones was initially told he was improperly traveling in the left lane when the bus was pulled over, according to DSU’s student publication The Hornet Newspaper and its website thehornetonline.com. The incident was first detailed there in a story that published Friday written by Sydney Anderson, a sophomore lacrosse player who was on the bus.

Liberty County , Georgia, deputies search the Delaware State women's lacrosse team's luggage in a photo taken by a player from the bus.

Video accompanying the story taken by DSU player Saniya Craft shows an officer saying, “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.”

By that time, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies had begun removing players’ bags from the vehicle’s cargo bay to search after asking Jones to open it. Police had a drug-sniffing dog at the scene.

Deputies knew those on board were on a lacrosse team.

“If there is something in there that’s questionable,” the deputy speaking on the bus said, “please tell me now because if we find it, guess what? We’re not gonna be able to help you.”

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