Police in Florida have arrested and charged two girls, a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old, with aggravated stalking in the case of a girl who committed suicide last month.
Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old seventh-grader in Lakeland, jumped to her death from an abandoned silo after enduring bullying both online and face to face. According to police, the bullying consisted of Facebook messages, texts and confrontations at school, actions that they say contributed to Rebecca's suicide.
Though an affidavit said that the bullying occurred from December 2012 to February 2013, according to the New York Times, the girl's mother said it began long before then.
The arrest by the Polk County sheriff's office Monday was prompted by a Facebook comment allegedly posted by one of the girls who bullied Rebecca. It read: "Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a (expletive)]."
The New York Times reports:
"The Facebook post, Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said, was so offensive that he decided to move forward with the arrest immediately rather than continue to gather evidence. With a probable cause affidavit in hand, he sent his deputies Monday night to arrest two girls, calling them the "primary harassers." The first, a 14-year-old, is the one who posted the comment Saturday, he said. The second is her friend, and Rebecca's former best friend, a 12-year-old."
Judd said the older girl "forced this arrest today" and that they couldn't just "leave her out there."
"Who else is she going to torment? Who else is she going to harass? Who is the next person she verbally abuses and attacks?" he said.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that after the arrests, the girls admitted the abuse. The 14-year-old is in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice until her next hearing; the 12-year-old is on house arrest.