A San Francisco mother has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that they kept her 15-year-old son locked in a cell for days even after a judge ruled there was no reason for the boy to have been arrested in the first place and ordered his release.
On June 29, 2017, Tureko Straughter’s son was booked into a juvenile detention center after being arrested for a nonviolent property crime. Later that same day, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Braden Woods found “there was not sufficient probable cause” for the teen’s arrest. So Judge Woods ordered the child be released to his mother.
But according to court documents, one probation detention officer, Samuel Nwigwe, concluded that the child had given officers a fake name. Nwigwe assumed that the boy somehow changed his criminal record to reflect that he had had no prior arrest history.
The officer found it suspicious that another child had the same birthdate, last name and address as the boy in custody. So Nwigwe decided to keep the juvenile mastermind locked up, defying the judge’s order to set the teenager free.
It turns out that Tureko Straugter has twins.
Straughter went to see her son for three tightly supervised 45-minute visits during his detention. The teen slept in a locked cell for four days before he was granted release by Woods during another hearing on July 3.
Straughter filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, Chief Probation Officer Allen Nance, three San Francisco Police Department officers and the city and county of San Francisco. The complaint alleges her son was subjected to physical discomfort and mental and emotional injuries during his juvenile detention. The suit cites “mental anguish, emotional distress, feelings of unjust treatment, reputational harm, fear, anxiety, humiliation, and trauma.”