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Delaware AG calls for federal probe of alleged racial profiling in search of lacrosse team’s bus

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Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings (D) is pushing for a full investigation into Georgia police searching the Delaware State University lacrosse team’s bus, which team members say was racially motivated.

“Like so many others, I’m deeply troubled by the actions that our Delaware State University Women’s Lacrosse team and staff endured in Georgia this past April. I want to commend these outstanding young women for their valor, and my fellow Delawareans for rallying around them,” Jennings said in her statement. 

“Following discussions with both the US Department of Justice and the Georgia Attorney General, I sent the attached letter urging a full examination and I have every reason to believe one will occur,” she added.

Her statement comes after the team from Delaware State, a historically Black university, was traveling through Georgia when Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped their bus driver, who is also Black, for a traffic violation. 

The deputies then announced they would search the team’s luggage for drugs.

“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,” one of the deputies said.

In her letter to the Department of Justice, Jennings noted that the students and coaches “hail from one of the oldest and finest HBCUs in the country.”

“I’m told that all the deputies were white, and almost everyone whose bags were searched is black,” the attorney general wrote.

“By all accounts these young women represented their school and our state with class — and they were rewarded with a questionable-at-best search through their belongings in an effort to find contraband that did not exist,” she also said, adding that she knew she could “count on a thorough vetting and appropriate action.”

The incident has also been condemned by leaders across the state, including Delaware Gov. John Carney (D).

​​“I have watched video of this incident — it is upsetting, concerning, and disappointing,” Carney previously told The Hill.

“Moments like these should be relegated to part of our country’s complicated history, but they continue to occur with sad regularity in communities across our country. It’s especially hard when it impacts our own community,” he added.

Delaware Sens. Chris Coons (D) and Tom Carper (D) and Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) also condemned the deputies’ behavior.

“No one should be made to feel unsafe or humiliated by law enforcement or any entity who has sworn to protect and serve them,” the lawmakers said.

Delaware State has also said that it is investigating the incident.

Tags Delaware State University John Carney Kathy Jennings racial profiling

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