Lacrosse team says they were racially profiled in Georgia

Race in America

(NewsNation) — A sheriff’s department in Georgia is facing allegations of racial profiling after a deputy pulled over a bus carrying the women’s lacrosse team from Delaware State University, a historically Black college, and proceeded to search it for drugs.

On April 20, police in Liberty County, Georgia pulled over the team’s bus for improperly being driven in the left lane as it was headed home from a game in Florida.

But instead of addressing the lane violation, deputies announced almost immediately that they would be using dogs to search the bus, including the team’s luggage, for drugs.

“I’m not looking for a little bit of marijuana but I’m pretty sure your guys’ chaperones probably going to be disappointed in you if we find any,” a deputy says in a video taken by a player on the team.

Deputies did not find anything suspicious during their search.

DSU President Tony Allen said he is “incensed” by the traffic stop in an open letter. The university president says he’s already reached out to Delaware’s governor, congressional delegation, attorney general and the Black Caucus.

“We have video. We have allies. Perhaps, more significantly, we have the courage of our convictions.” Allen, wrote.

Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman, who is Black, defended the traffic stop at a news conference Tuesday.

“I do not exercise racial profiling, allow racial profiling or encourage racial profiling,” Bowman said. “From what I have gathered, I believe that the stop was legal.”

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