RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Shaw University President Dr. Paulette Dillard said she is “outraged” by the way 18 of her students were treated by law enforcement officers last week.
In a news release, the university said 18 Shaw University student scholars and two staff advisors were traveling on Oct. 5 from Raleigh to Atlanta for a Center for Financial Advancement Conference.
The group was traveling by contract bus on a South Carolina highway when they were pulled over by “South Carolina Law Enforcement” in Spartanburg County. The Shaw University statement did not include the name of the highway, such as Interstate 85.
The university said the bus was pulled over under the “pretext of a minor traffic violation”. Further, the statement said sheriff deputies and drug-sniffing dogs searched the suitcases located in luggage racks beneath the bus.
“In a word, I am outraged,” Dr. Dillard said. “This behavior of targeting Black students is unacceptable and will not be ignored nor tolerated. Had the students been white, I doubt this detention and search would have occurred.”
Dillard said nothing illegal was discovered in the search by “South Carolina Law Enforcement officers.” Shaw University said officers claimed they stopped the bus because it was swerving and issued the driver a warning ticket for “improper lane use.”
CBS 17 reached out to Shaw University who declined to speak with us about the issue. The university would not offer clarity on the South Carolina law enforcement agency they are referencing in their claims.
CBS 17 tried to track down the law enforcement agency who may have been involved. South Carolina Highway Patrol said they were not aware of the incident. CBS 17 has also reached out to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office but has not heard back from them.