A girl who was arrested back in November after she was accused of making threats against students and staff at a charter school in Pembroke Pines was framed by an ex-classmate who is now charged in the incident, police said Thursday.
Pembroke Pines Police had arrested the 13-year-old girl back on Nov. 19 after threats were made on Instagram against students and staff at Renaissance Charter School, where the teen had been a student.
The threats led to the school being placed on a code yellow.
Police said the teen's family initially didn't cooperate with investigators, and the decision to arrest her was made in consultation with the Broward State Attorney's Office.
"Due to the exigent nature of the school threats and in accordance with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act, it was determined that probable cause existed to arrest [the teen] due to available evidence as well as multiple witness statements," police said in a news release Thursday.
But in December, the teen's family began cooperating with investigators and detectives were able to get a subpoena for the I.P. addresses associated with the threatening messages, police said.
In January, detectives obtained new evidence that showed that a 12-year-old girl who also attended Renaissance Charter School used the 13-year-old's information to create an email address and open multiple Instagram accounts, police said.
The younger girl then sent herself and other students multiple threatening messages, and intentionally lied to law enforcement and school staff to frame the 13-year-old, police said.
Charges were dropped against the 13-year-old and now the 12-year-old is charged with written threats to kill or do bodily harm, falsifying a police report, penalty for disruption of an educational institution, and criminal use of personal information.
“When it comes to our CHILDREN, educational institutions and law enforcement must make sure they do their HOMEWORK before putting students in handcuffs, arresting and detaining them for two weeks," the accused girl's lawyer, Marwan Porter, said in a statement Thursday. "It is very clear that the Pembroke Pines Police Dept. and others involved, failed to conduct a basic investigation into the false allegations which resulted in the arrest and severe emotional damage to my client. This could have happened to any one of our babies and we can not and will not tolerate it. My firm is conducting an investigation to identify those responsible for this travesty and will be pursuing all options available to hold them accountable."
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