RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Leaders at Shaw University talked publicly for the first time about a traffic stop involving a bus full of students.
Shaw's president, the student body president and the university's attorney spoke at the press conference where it was revealed the university has filed a formal complaint with the Department of Justice.
The university is requesting a review of the "unfounded search of eighteen Shaw University students" and an investigation of the Spartanburg County and Cherokee County Sheriff's Offices for civil rights violations," according to the filing.
Shaw University President Dr. Paulette Dillard stood behind her initial statements on the traffic stop being racially motivated saying, "It begs the question whether every vehicle that is stopped for a lane violation is also searched by dogs for drugs. And if not, what is the probable cause that makes that determination? Who gets searched and why? We need to ask the question why the officer on board the bus immediately asked the students if they were transporting some type of illegal or illicit content within their bags - something that, quote, 'wasn't supposed to be there.' This situation is a stark reminder that the fight for civil rights is still an ongoing necessity," Dr. Dillard said.
It's the first time we've heard from school officials since the bus was pulled over and searched in Spartanburg County, South Carolina on October 5.
Law enforcement released body camera footage that shows what happened.
18 Shaw students and staff members were on the bus, headed to a conference in Atlanta.
Shaw's president said she was 'outraged' because black students were targeted.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright denied her claim, adding the driver was pulled over for swerving.
And when asked about searching the bus the driver consented.