Delaware governor, senators condemn search of college lacrosse team’s bus in Georgia
Delaware Gov. John Carney (D), along with the state’s congressional delegation, on Tuesday condemned Georgia authorities’ search of the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team’s bus.
“I have watched video of this incident – it is upsetting, concerning, and disappointing,” Carney said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday.
“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.
In a piece published in the school’s The Hornet Newspaper, Delaware State sophomore lacrosse player Sydney Anderson wrote about Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopping the bus driver, who is Black, for a traffic violation.
Deputies entered the bus and informed the passengers that they would search their luggage for any possible evidence of narcotics such as marijuana, heroin, methane and ketamine.
“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 officers said in a video of the incident.
The historically Black university has said it is investigating the team’s treatment.
Delaware State President Tony Allen said the school has reached out to the state attorney general’s office, the state congressional delegation and the Congressional Black Caucus on the matter.
“They, like me, are incensed,” Allen wrote in his statement. “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.”
Carney added in his statement that his office “will do everything we can to assist the University with learning more about the incident and any appropriate next steps.”
“I’m proud of our students for handling the experience with remarkable composure, though I’m sorry they were made to go through it at all,” Carney concluded.
In a joint statement, Delaware Sens. Chris Coons (D) and Tom Carper (D) and Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D), condemned the sheriff’s office’s conduct toward the lacrosse team, noting that this is a problem that students who attended historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) face daily.
“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.
“Our offices stand ready to assist the Delaware State community however we can as it deals with the impact of this episode, and hope there will be a swift, just resolution,” they added.
Anderson also wrote in her article that authorities used a drug-sniffing dog to search through the players’ bags.
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