An April traffic stop involving Georgia police officers left some members of the Delaware state women’s lacrosse team traumatized and the school president “furious.”

According to Sydney Anderson, a lacrosse player for the Hornets who wrote about the encounter for the school newspaper, the team was traveling across the state on April 20, returning home from a game against Stetson University. Police stopped their charter bus and claimed the bus had committed a traffic violation. But then the police started searching the players’ luggage, claiming to be looking for narcotics.

“To be clear, nothing illegal was uncovered in this research, and all of our coaches and student-athletes conducted themselves with dignity throughout a harrowing and humiliating process,” the president said. university, Tony Allen, in a statement. “Our student-athletes, our coaches and the contracted bus driver are all safe. I spoke with many of them, and during the investigation of this incident in conjunction with our General Counsel and Director of Athletics, I also contacted the Governor of Delaware, the Congressional delegation, the Attorney General and the Black Caucus. They are, like me, furious.

Delaware State is a historically black university, and most of the players on the bus were black, by USA today. All officers seen in photos and videos of the incident were white.

Tim Jones, the bus driver, who is black, was arrested by Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputies because buses are not allowed to operate in the left lane of Interstate 95. Officers then informed the student-athletes that they were going to search their personal belongings. for drugs such as marijuana, heroin and ketamine, by Anderson.

“If there’s anything in your luggage, we’ll probably find it,” a policeman said. in a video taken by a DSU player. “If there’s anything in there that’s questionable, please tell me now because if we find it, guess what? We can’t help you.

The officer then reminded the team that marijuana is still illegal in the state of Georgia, including electronic devices. The officer also said they were looking for anything that could weigh him “like a scale”. According to Anderson, the team said they had no narcotics, but officers decided to check their bags anyway and asked Jones to open the trunk of the bus.

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Delaware State head coach Pamella Jenkins said USA today the test lasted between 30 and 45 minutes. According to Anderson, each time players looked towards research, more officers appeared. Police also used drug-sniffing dogs throughout the process. Officers told the athletes the search was necessary “in the event of child or drug trafficking.”

“I think the biggest surprise was seeing the dogs immediately taken out, regardless of the citation,” said lacrosse player Emily Campanelli. “It shows the immediate effects of driving in the dark, especially in southern states and one wonders how many people this happens to on a daily basis and how many people experience this worse than us. I sincerely believe this was an illegal search and seizure as there was no probable reason to search the bags, there was no evidence or smell.

“He immediately saw a group of athletic girls’ teams and should have let us continue, but as the majority of the team is made up of black women, the outcome was different. It was a sad day that we had to face, but I’m glad everyone got out.

Police seized nothing during their search and did not issue a citation to Jones. According to Anderson, the majority of the team had an encounter with law enforcement, making the experience “a traumatic incident.” In a joint statement given to USA Today, US Senators from Delaware Tom Carper and Chris Coons and US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester condemned the officers’ actions.

“No one should feel endangered or humiliated by law enforcement or any entity that has sworn to protect and serve them,” the statement read. “This is especially true for students who have sought out HBCUs like Delaware State University with a long history of empowering communities of color who have too often faced discrimination and other barriers to opportunity.”

Allen said the university intends to continue exploring legal remedies for athletes and others involved. The encounter with the police comes after several HBCUs received bomb threats These last months.

“We do not intend to let this incident or any other such incident pass,” Allen said in the statement. “We are ready to go where the evidence takes us. We have the video. We have allies. Perhaps more importantly, we have the courage of our convictions.