Mom of bullied Black teen says child was threatened, wrongly detained for 11 days

Nia Whims, 13, was falsely accused of threatening on Instagram to blow up her school

The mother of a Black teenage Florida girl, who allegedly was being bullied by classmates at her school, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday after police detained her daughter for more than a week late last year for a crime she says her child didn’t commit.

Police in Pembroke Pines, Florida, handcuffed a weeping, Nia Whims, 13, in November, according to video of the incident obtained by ABC News, before keeping her in custody at a local juvenile detention center for 11 days.

The girl’s mother, Lezlie-Ann Davis, is suing Renaissance Charter School at Pines, along with Instagram’s parent company, Meta, formerly known as Facebook, for their alleged roles in failing to prevent her daughter’s detention, as reported by NBC News.

Davis’ lawsuit, obtained by theGrio, says Pembroke Pines Police decided to arrest her daughter on Nov. 25 after the child was wrongly accused of threatening on Instagram to blow up her school.

In her lawsuit, Davis said a 12-year-old girl, identified as “M.S.”, who was bullying Whims created a fake Instagram page in Whims’ name. The alleged bully used the fake account to send herself messages that “included threats to blow up the school and kill people.”

The threatening messages were disclosed to a teacher who alerted school officials and police, according to the complaint. Administrators responded by placing the school on limited lockdown until it was later deemed safe.

“As a direct and proximate result of the forgoing events, [Whims] has been severely, permanently and tragically injured,” the complaint said.

NBC 6 South Florida

Whims repeatedly told police she didn’t send the threatening messages, according to the lawsuit, which accused police of failing to “promptly investigate” the “easily discoverable” IP address of the device that sent the messages.

The lawsuit also said Instagram “failed and refused to promptly provide or cooperate with the investigating officers.” That alleged failure and refusal led to the delay in determining Whims was innocent, the lawsuit said.

Whims told NBC 6 South Florida at a news conference earlier this week that the ordeal has left Whims feeling “distanced.”

“I really don’t want to talk to anybody,” she said.

Family attorney Marwan Porter suggested the situation would have played out differently if Whims wasn’t Black.

“If it was a young Caucasian girl … and this happens, does it go down like this?” he asked reporters at the news conference.

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