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Florida girl arrested for threatening her didn’t sue her school

The family of a Florida girl who was detained in a juvenile detention center for 11 days after a classmate impersonated her on social media to threaten their school has filed a lawsuit. school and Instagram for their roles in the episode.

For the girl, Nia Whims, being jailed was “a horrifying experience,” a lawyer representing her said at a news conference Wednesday. “She knows she did nothing wrong, but she is still here, behind bars.”

Nia’s mother, Lezlie-Ann Davis, said her daughter was “deeply heartbroken” by what had happened. After Nia was released, on November 29, “she threw away her school uniform,” Ms. Davis said.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state court in Broward County, accuses Nia’s school, Renaissance Charter School in Pines and Meta, the social media giant that owns Instagram, of failing to protect her. The lawsuit says the family is also planning to add the Pembroke Pines Police Department to the case.

The police officers arrested Nia without enough evidence that she wrote threatening messages, lawsuits.

Last week, the police department said in a statement that Nia’s family has delayed cooperating with the investigation, a claim the family has denied.

The lawsuit also blames Instagram for not promptly providing authorities with information that would otherwise have caused the teenager’s innocence. According to the lawsuit, that information is “literally available at the touch of a button.”

According to the lawsuit, Instagram also failed to protect youth and the public by not having policies in place to prevent people from being impersonated on its platform.

Colleen Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Renaissance Charter School at Pines, declined to answer any questions on the matter, citing pending litigation, but she wrote in an email, “We always have and will always take all appropriate action to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

Instagram did not respond on Wednesday to an email requesting comment.

In November, Nia was a 13-year-old 8th grader at Renaissance. She had no discipline problems there but was bullied incessantly, the lawsuit said.

Ms. Davis, at the press conference, said she had sought to meet with school officials and parents of students who were bullied, but she had only met once with a teacher. She said she did not see how her daughter was being treated.

On November 18, Nia was using her brother’s iPad and communicating with a classmate at the charter school.

At one point, the classmate created an Instagram account with Nia’s name and information, according to the lawsuit and police officer. The student, who was identified in the lawsuit as just MS, then used the new account to “send messages to herself that appeared to have been sent” from Nia, according to the lawsuit.

The messages threatened to blow up the school and kill MS, as well as a teacher at the charter school and the teacher’s family, the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, the teacher was notified of the messages and in turn alerted school officials and the police. When Pembroke Pines Police Department officers visited Nia’s home to question her about the threats, Nia confirmed that she used Instagram but denied writing the messages, the lawsuit said.

On November 19, the police arrested Nia at her home and took her to a juvenile detention center. She was released on November 29 after Ms. Davis hired an attorney to defend her release, according to Nia’s attorney, Marwan Porter. Nia was cleared of the charges a few weeks later.

At the press conference, Ms. Davis said she tried to prove her daughter’s innocence the day police arrested her by showing officers the iPad her daughter was using. (In a brief interview on Wednesday, Ms. Davis said she gave police permission to take the iPad to investigate.)

A spokesman for the Police Department declined to answer questions about the matter on Wednesday, referring instead to the statement the department issued last week. Ms. Davis, who was identified as the “mother of Victim #1” in the news, “began to cooperate” with the investigation on December 21. That cooperation, the statement said, “resulted in investigators filed a subpoena for IP Address in connection with the threatening messages.”

Authorities eventually determined that the messages were sent from an IP address that did not match the address on the device Nia was using at the time.

Mr. Porter said at the news conference that the police account of the events was inaccurate, and that “this is a joke of an investigation.”

“Our natural inclination is that whatever they say is true,” Mr. Porter continued, referring to the police. “Let me tell you, it’s not, in many situations.”

The lawsuit claims that “Pembroke Pines police’s failure to promptly investigate this detectable information” forced Nia to be unnecessarily detained for 11 days, while Instagram’s refusal to “provide or legally timely co-operation with investigators” further prolonging the investigation.

Putting a young girl in handcuffs upon a simple review of Instagram accounts, messages and chats may have revealed the truth, “shaking conscience and exceeding the limits of decency”, written complaint.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/us/florida-lawsuit-nia-whims.html Florida girl arrested for threatening her didn’t sue her school

Fry Electronics Team

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