LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office has released bodycam footage of a traffic stop on April 20 that’s gaining national attention.
“We’re going to check y’all’s luggage, OK? If there is anything in y’all’s luggage, we’re probably going to find it, OK?” a deputy is heard saying on the bodycam.
Deputies pulled over a charter bus with the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team on board for the traffic stop that ended in a search for contraband.
The department is being accused of racial profiling but the sheriff says that’s not the case.
“There were several commercial vehicles stopped that morning, including another bus, where contraband was located,” says Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman. “Before entering the motorcoach the deputies was not aware that this school was a historically Black or aware of the race or occupants due to the height of the vehicle and tinted windows.”
The sheriff said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the traffic stop or the procedures that followed but did address the national attention it garnered.
“Although I do not believe any racial profiling took place based on the information I currently have, I welcome feedback from our community on ways that our law enforcement practices can be improved,” Bowman said.
The driver was issued a warning for the lane violation.
A spokesperson for Delaware State University told WSAV’s affiliate that they are continuing to investigate the incident and would release their findings and determine how to respond.
No contraband was found on the motorcoach and the driver was issued a warning for the traffic stop. The department denied questions from the media but closed by asking for feedback from the Delaware State passengers on communication approaches the department can consider.
Watch the full press conference below.