The Liberty County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office, the culprits of an unlawful search of the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team’s bus over a year ago, has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice that closes the case for now.
Monday, the DOJ released a statement that per conditions of the agreement, Liberty County will “review its bias-free policing policies, make necessary updates to its policies on traffic enforcement and searches, and develop and implement data collection procedures, among other provisions.”
The Hornets were returning from an Atlantic Sun Conference game in Florida on April 20, 2022 when Liberty County deputies stopped their bus for traveling in the left lane. The deputies then were allegedly alerted by a K-9 officer, then went through all of the players and coach’s belongings. Nothing illegal or criminal was found.
The harrowing experience gained national attention after DSU lacrosse player Sydney Anderson wrote about the experience in the Hornet Student Newspaper. The women’s lacrosse community rallied around DSU and the university filed a Civil Rights complaint with the DOJ.
“It was something I felt obligated to do because I knew this was a violation of our civil rights,” Anderson told HBCU Sports this past March. “Even though it was a devastating and traumatic experience, I’m glad we were able to spread awareness of what we went through.”
On Monday afternoon, university spokesman Carlos Holmes reaffirmed the school’s support of the team to the Savannah Morning News.
“Delaware State University continues to stand in solidarity with our players,” Holmes said. “We hope that the U.S. Department of Justice will closely monitor and evaluate the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office compliance with the terms of the agreement and if necessary re-open its investigation if the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office fails to meet its obligations.”
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