UPDATED: Parents outraged after three teens strip searched

(WMC-TV) - Parents of three Mississippi teenagers are demanding answers after the teens were strip searched for trespassing.

Cliff Johnson, the attorney for the three teens, said Wednesday that children who have never committed a crime should not have received such harsh treatment.

Johnson said a complaint from a neighbor prompted police to pick up the three 15-year-olds and take them to the Senatobia Police Station.

Thursday, the parents of 15-year-olds - Lakiya Burton of Senatobia, Laranda Wright of Southaven, and Kenvonta Mack of Senatobia - demanded that Tate County Youth Court Referee Leigh Ann Darby be fired after the teens were arrested on trespassing charges, strip-searched and jailed.

"The whole situation is terrible," said Lakiya Burton's father, Dexter. "These kids had to go off to a juvenile facility for three days for walking through someone's yard. It's humiliating and embarrassing to the parents and community."

On July 8, Senatobia police arrested the teens after a neighbor complained that the three had walked across her yard. Darby demanded the teens be given a drug test and ordered them to be transported to the Alcorn County Youth Detention Center in Corinth.

"They were stripped naked, forced to squat and cough" Johnson said.

While the Alcorn County Youth Detention Center said it is the policy of the facility to strip search all juveniles who enter the detention center regardless of what they are charged with, parents of the children are outraged.

"My daughter's civil rights were violated," Lakedra Wright said.

The Tate County Board of Supervisors also passed a "no confidence" resolution declaring the board has no confidence in Darby and asked that she be removed.

Wednesday, Darby denied Action News 5's request for an interview.

"The judge who sent these kids to the detention center is set to go back and resume her position on Tuesday, November 1st," Johnson said. "The people of Tate County are concerned."

The teens were eventually found "not guilty" of trespassing.

Their parents said they still can't believe their children, who did not have any prior arrests and had good school records, have been subjected to such harsh treatment.

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