Police raid by Delaware State University team sparks outrage

Delaware State University is a historically black university, and about 70% of the team members are black, according to its coach, Pamell...


Delaware State University is a historically black university, and about 70% of the team members are black, according to its coach, Pamella Jenkins.

The team bus was returning to Delaware from a game in Florida on the morning of April 20 when Georgia police arrested the bus driver, Ms Jenkins said in an interview. The driver stopped on a freeway off-ramp, she said, and an officer boarded, saying the bus was mistakenly driving in the left lane.

Within five minutes, she said, one of the student-athletes drew attention to officers pulling backpacks, team duffel bags and other belongings from under the bus. – for inspection by a drug-sniffing dog. Then two officers boarded the bus announcing a drug search in an interaction that Ms Jenkins, who is black, described as “racially motivated”.

“When he raised narcotic dogs, the first thing he went to was marijuana, which is stereotypically associated with African Americans,” Ms Jenkins said. She added that the officer had an “accusatory tone: he was not asking”.

When a student asked how the routine traffic stop turned into a drug search, she said, an officer replied that charter buses on this section of the highway were known to drug and human trafficking. Although nervous and scared, Ms Jenkins said she tried to stay calm, as students gathered by the window to look outside and others sat in shock. She said she feared a single bad word could inflame the situation.

The university’s student newspaper, the hornet, published an article on traffic control by Sydney Anderson, a member of the team. Ms Anderson and the other team members did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Ms Anderson wrote in the article that the police tried to get the players to admit they had drugs, and she accused them of carrying out an unlawful search without probable cause. She said “the majority of the team members had never encountered the police, which made this a traumatic incident for them”.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Police raid by Delaware State University team sparks outrage
Police raid by Delaware State University team sparks outrage
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