By: Tye Richmond
Normally when I write articles for DETV it is fun upbeat articles about things going on in Delaware or across the country/world. But this one will be a little bit different.
On April 20 around 10:30 in the morning, as the Delaware State women’s lacrosse team was returning home after playing their final game of the season at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, on April 19. The team were racially profiled and pulled over in Liberty County, Georgia by police.
Sydney Anderson, a DSU Sophomore and lacrosse player who was on the bus at the time and a writer for Delaware State University’s newspaper “The Hornet”, wrote an article about the incident. “Tim Jones, a black bus driver, was stopped by Police in Georgia. The officers claimed it was a traffic violation because buses are not permitted to drive in the left lane. The cops came on the bus to inform the students that they would be checking their luggage for any possible narcotics, such as marijuana, heroin, methane, and ketamine.”
Anderson continued and said, “The officers instructed Mr. Jones to open the bus trunk, and they proceeded to go through the ladies’ personal belongings. Everyone was confused as to why they were looking through the luggage, when there was no probable cause. The team members were in shock, as they witnessed the officers rambling through their bags. They brought a K-9 dog out to sniff their luggage. The cops began tossing underwear and other feminine products, in an attempt to locate narcotics.”
The article continued, One of the officers said, “If there is anything in your luggage, we’re probably gonna find it….I’m not looking for a little marijuana, but I’m pretty sure you guys’ chaperones will probably be disappointed if we find it.” He then stated, “If there is something in there that is questionable, please tell me now because, guess what.. we’re not gonna be able to help”. They were trying to get the ladies to admit to ownership of drugs they clearly didn’t have. The officers told them they would go to prison if they found something. The team told the officers they did not have any narcotics, but they were still skeptical and explained they had to check their luggage.”
On Monday, Delaware State University President Tony Allen issued a statement about the incident.
Allen said, “To be clear, nothing illegal was discovered in this search, and all of our coaches and student-athletes comported themselves with dignity throughout a trying and humiliating process.”
This whole situation is just now getting the attention of social media platforms although the incident happened a few weeks ago. State leaders throughout Delaware are now catching wind of it as well. Gov. Carney released a statement Monday calling the video “upsetting, concerning and disappointing.”
“Moments like these should be relegated to part of our country’s complicated history,” Carney said, “but they continue to occur with sad regularity in communities across our country. It’s especially hard when it impacts our own community.’’
It could be a couple of months until this situation is settled and clearly examined from top to bottom. So just keep a lookout on DETV for more information as we receive it on this tragic situation that happened right here in our backyard.