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A police officer walks back towards a police car at the scene of a traffic stop

Source: Jeremy Hogan / Getty

One of the most common and out-of-pocket offenses that police officers perpetrate against Black people is the overly aggressive search for drugs during traffic stops. They act like every brotha or sista in a Toyota Camry is El Chapo with bricks of heroin stashed in the door panels. More often than not, the search yields no results and instead, terrorizes innocent people who are made to feel under threat of arrest or worse.

Sadly, the women’s lacrosse team at Delaware State University experienced this for themselves while passing through Georgia on their way home from a game in Florida. The team’s coach, Pamella Jenkins, spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and says that she and several players feel that they were racially profiled by 6 white Liberty County deputies with their police dog on April, 20 of all dates…

“(The deputy) quickly went to marijuana, which stereotypically is unfortunately associated with African Americans. That’s the first thing that he went to,” Jenkins said.

So, you come aboard a bus full of Black women students worried about some lil’ weed and still don’t find anything? Hmph. The President of Delaware State, Tony Allen, released a letter describing his “incensed” reaction to the news about how his students were treated:

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. 

Our student-athletes, coaches, and subcontracted bus driver are all safe. I have spoken with many of them, and in the course of investigating this incident in conjunction with our General Counsel and Athletic Director, I have also reached out to Delaware’s Governor, Congressional delegation, Attorney General, and Black Caucus. They, like me, are incensed. 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.

Like President Allen, our eyes will be all over this story until a resolution has been reached.


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