The Delaware State University's Women's Lacrosse Team and DSU community are speaking out after the team's bus was stopped and searched for narcotics while traveling in Georgia.
The team was headed home, traveling north on I-95 from Florida after finishing its season when deputies in Liberty County, Georgia pulled the bus over. According to a report in the school's Hornet Newspaper written by DSU sophomore and lacrosse player Sydney Anderson, the team's bus driver Tim Jones was first told by officers that he was improperly traveling in the left lane.
Video taken by DSU athlete Saniya Craft shows officers telling the team, "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."
During the 45-minute stop, deputies opened a wrapped graduation gift given to senior Aniya Aiken after she explained to deputies her aunt gave it to her and said not to open it before getting back to campus.
The deputies also announced that "marijuana is still illegal in the state of Georgia" and suggested that even "a set of scales" to weigh the drugs is unlawful.
Deputies had already begun removing luggage from the bus by that point and had a drug-sniffing dog at the scene. The officers knew that the bus occupants were student-athletes.
"If there is something in there that's questionable," the deputy announced to the bus, "please tell me now because if we find it, guess what? We're not gonna be able to help you."
In a letter to the DSU community, President Tony Allen detailed the incident and shared that university officials had already reached out to the Delaware Attorney General, Delaware congressional delegation, and the Congressional Black Caucus.
"They, like me, are incensed," Allen wrote in the letter. "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."
DSU Coach Pamella Jenkins said the incident was "very traumatizing" and credited the players for remaining "composed" throughout the situation.
"The infuriating thing was the assumption of guilt," the deputies had, Jenkins said. "That was what made me so upset because I trust my girls."
President Allen wrote in bold that Delaware State University does "not intend to let this or any other incident like it pass idly by."
"We are prepared to go wherever the evidence leads us. We have video. We have allies," Allen wrote. "Perhaps more significantly, we have the courage of our convictions."
No illegal substances were found on the bus and the driver did not receive a citation.
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