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The attorney for DSU lacrosse players plans lawsuit following settlement of discrimination complaint

 Body camera footage of Libery County police stop involving the DSU women's lacrosse tean
Liberty County Sheriff's Office
Body camera footage of Libery County police stop involving the DSU women's lacrosse tean

The attorney for DSU women’s lacrosse team members on a bus stopped and searched by police in Georgia responds to the U.S. Department of Justice’s handling of the case.

"I will file a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Savannah,” said Greg Torone, who is representing all of the occupants of the bus.

The move is a response to the U.S Department of Justice reaching an agreement with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office to resolve DSU’s race discrimination civil rights complaint stemming from the incident.

The resolution agreement calls for Liberty County Sheriff’s Office to review its policies, modernize its policing operations and produce more efforts to prevent and address discriminatory law enforcement practices.

Torone says the Justice Department should have taken the matter more seriously and not relied on the Sheriff’s Office internal investigation, which concluded that the Office was not in the wrong.

“The Justice Department took for their word the internal review rather than investigating themselves or demanding an external, independent review,” said Torone. “This is highly inappropriate, particularly when you have such a serious issue involving a violation of the 4th Amendment, and potential violation of US Code Title VI, which is also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

He seeks to expand the Department of Justice’s understanding of the case, and requests the DOJ's investigation be reopened and reflect the severity of the violation.

“It is an embarrassment to the United States Justice Department to have treated this matter in such a light way. And certainly surprising,” Torone stated. “However, I do think the people of this country deserve more truth as to what transpired. And to have a scrutiny of the facts that are in controversy. And that will take place through the federal judicial system.”

This action is consistent with the notions included in Delaware State University’s statement on Tuesday, which read:

“We disagree with the outcome of LCSO's internal investigation which concluded that its officers acted consistent with the law. We hope that USDOJ will closely monitor and evaluate LCSO's compliance with the terms of the agreement and, if necessary, reopen its investigation if LCSO fails to meet its obligations.”

While the move to reopen the investigation prior to the implementation of the DOJ agreement does vary from what DSU stated, Torone has been in conversation with the school’s General Counsel.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021