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Exclusive: Delaware State University President 'Incensed' By 'Outrageous' Traffic Stop Involving Lacrosse Team

DOVER, Del. (CBS) -- Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen sat down exclusively with Eyewitness News on Friday afternoon to discuss the incident the women's lacrosse team endured during its encounter with a police department in Georgia. Dr. Allen spoke about what the university is doing about the incident and lessons learned from what took place and the aftermath.

He shared that he learned of the incident from the school's athletic director when the team returned from their trip and then weeks later, he saw that now well-circulated cell phone video of the incident from one of the team's players.

"Incensed both times. It is outrageous on several levels," Dr. Allen said.

Dr. Allen has a daughter, so the thought that what happened to the team's players could easily have happened to his own daughter was troubling, but he took it further.

"So as we went into the emotional trauma that can be caused separate from the legal meanderings, that outraged me initially, but then you get into what we believe was an inappropriate stop and search even further outrageous, all of us," Dr. Allen said.

Despite the fact that the spring semester is over on campus, Dr. Allen has still held several Zoom calls with the team.

"They're doing great. It's unfortunate that many of those young ladies understand what this experience is about and had to endure it," Dr. Allen said.

He says he has spoken to the sheriff of the Liberty County Police Department.

"I talked to Sheriff Bowman once actually earlier in the week, and that conversation was cordial but we disagree on the merits," Dr. Allen said.

CBS3 asked Dr. Allen what he would tell someone who doesn't see any overt racism or bigotry in what took place.

"I would point them toward implicit bias," Dr. Allen said.

He then explained the facts. They were pulled over for a traffic violation, an officer then spoke to them about possessing marijuana and searched their bags. Six heavily armed officers aided in the search. When they were done, the bus driver wasn't even given a ticket for his supposed traffic violation.

And so we arrive at what's next.

"We are filing a federal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights and Department of Justice," Dr. Allen said.

Dr. Allen also talked about how the young women handled the situation.

"How they comported themselves, both on that bus that day and since, suggests a lot about the future of our young people," Dr. Allen said.

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