Pembroke Pines, Fla. – The family of a 13-year-old Florida girl who was wrongfully arrested and held in a detention center for 2 weeks is filing a lawsuit against her school and Instagram.
In November Nia Whims was arrested after being accused of threatening to bomb her school on an Instagram account. She was detained in a juvenile detention center for 14 days before police realized she had no involvement in making the threats and the Instagram account had been made by a fellow student impersonating her.
On Wednesday, the teen’s family announced that they will be suing the Pembroke Pines Charter school, along with Instagram and its parent company, Meta. The family also filed a notice of intent to sue the Pembroke Pines Police Department over the incident.
Marwan Porter, the attorney for Whims and her family, said Pembroke Pines Police Department needs to be held accountable for wrongfully arresting the 7th grader, leaving her family in distress and causing Nia embarrassment and anxiety.
“They need to make sure they do their homework prior to putting our children in handcuffs and locking them up,” Porter said.
According to Whims’ mother, Lezlie-Ann Davis, a female student who was bullying her daughter is responsible for creating the fake Instagram account and making it look like Nia was posting the threats. According to a press release from the Pembroke Pines Police Department, that student, who’s name has not been released to the public, has been arrested and charged.
In an interview with ABC news, Davis said the experience was “traumatizing” for both her and her daughter.
“Nobody looked into what damage it did,” Davis said. “Emotionally, mentally, you know, and she’s still growing. She’s young and she’s growing. So as adults, a lot of things in our past affect us and I think it’s something that will affect her.”
Renaissance Charter School at Pines released this statement, “Our highest priority remains the safety and security of our students. We always have and always will take all appropriate actions to ensure our students and staff are safe. We are not at liberty to discuss any private student issues and we do not comment on pending litigation.”
Whims’ family is suing for a minimum of $30,000 as well as costs and attorney’s fees.