A teenager streamed her suicide live on Sunday.
According to the Miami Herald, Nakia Venant made the chilling broadcast from her Miami Gardens foster home. The 14-year-old made a noose with her scarf before hanging herself in the bathroom. A friend who caught the live feed had tried to save her friend by notifying the police. Unfortunately, she had given Miami-Dade Police the wrong address. The residents of the home had given the officers the correct address, but by then it was too late.
The officers found out the teen dangling from a “shower glass frame.” Her foster parents had been sleeping in their bedroom when Nakia took her life. Efforts to resuscitate her, proved abortive. The seventh grader was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Officials with the Florida Department of Children & Families disclosed they were investigating the circumstances behind Nakia’s death. DCF Secretary Mike Carroll offered little detail about the way forward, but divulged that the circumstances leading to her death would be thoroughly scrutinized.
“We are absolutely horrified and devastated by the news of this young girl’s death. We will do everything we can to support this family and all those who cared for her as they begin to heal from this tragedy. We will conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary review to examine this child’s history and the circumstances related to serving the child.”
Nakia, who was attending the Young Women’s Preparatory Academy before she killed herself, was described by a family friend as “smart academically,” charismatic, and very happy. Gerta Telford revealed that the 14-year-old girl was the first child of her mother, adding that she had a younger brother and had nursed dreams of being a writer.
Comments on Nakia Venant’s Facebook page suggest that she might have used the social media giant’s popular video live streaming feature. However, a company representative on Tuesday made known that it could not be confirmed if she used the feature to stream her suicide. Nakia called herself HotHead Nikee on Facebook. Besides the string of condolences left on her page, others trolled her for taking her life.
Nakia Venant age 14 on sunday morning committed suicide (she hanged herself) live on Facebook while in the care of DCF. A parent nightmare pic.twitter.com/3RrBP1APJb— Mz Gee (@tel4_gerta) January 24, 2017
In another statement, spokesperson, Christine Chen said the social media platform had provided parameters for people to report if the live-streaming service was used for purposes other than sharing positive experiences with friends or family. Chen added that systems were in place to ensure that time-sensitive content was dealt with speedily and accordingly.
“If someone does violate our Community Standards while using Facebook Live, we want to interrupt these streams as quickly as possible when they are reported to us. So we have given people a way to report violations during a live broadcast. We also suggest people contact law enforcement or emergency services themselves if they become aware of something where the authorities can help.”
Police say they can't get people to stop sharing video of 12-year-old Katelyn Nicole Davis's suicide— Emily Christian @BET (@EmilyChri5) January 17, 2017
Three weeks prior to Nakia’s death, a 12-year-old Georgia girl, live-streamed her death. The 40-minute video was posted on a site called Live.me. Katelyn Nicole Davis took her life dangling from a tree in her front yard. She had talked about been sexually abused by a family member before kicking the bucket she was standing on. The harrowing video continued for another 20 minutes after she took her last breath with a woman, allegedly her mother shouting her name off camera.
According to the New York Post, family members got the site to take down the horrifc video, but by that time it had been shared by thousands of people online, including on Facebook. The tormented teen had maintained a blog using the moniker, ITZ Dolly, where she alleged she was brutally beaten with a studded belt. The 12-year-old had been researching different ways to take her life, before she eventually hanged herself.
A source speaking to the Washington Post said while YouTube quickly took down the video because it violated their policy for violent and graphic content, the video remained on Facebook for two weeks before the social media colossus began removing it from its pages.
[Featured Image by Alison Yin/AP Images]