Where are the missing Latina and black teens? That seems to be the million dollar question the past week. People are using the hashtag #MissingDcGirls to bring light to situation. But in the mist of all the retweets facts are being lost in translation. Here are 6 facts that you must know to clear through the misinformation:
- While the disappearance of any child is scary and worrisome, a viral image shared in the last day has sparked a lot of attention. The images of some of the girls being featured aren’t from DC, and some of them have been found. Read about it HERE. In short: the meme below isn’t accurate.
Since March 19, D.C. police have shared 20 missing person fliers on Twitter; 10 of these people were juveniles. As of Friday, six of these juveniles had been found; four still were missing. Read more about it HERE.
- Why no Amber Alerts? Once law enforcement has determined that a child has been abducted and the abduction meets AMBER Alert criteria, law enforcement notifies broadcasters and state transportation officials.Each state AMBER Alert plan includes its own criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts. The PROTECT Act, passed in 2003, which established the role of AMBER Alert Coordinator within the Department of Justice, calls for the Department of Justice to issue minimum standards or guidelines for AMBER Alerts that states can adopt voluntarily. The Department’s Guidance on Criteria for Issuing AMBER Alerts is as follows:
- There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
- The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
- There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
- The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
- The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
- Commander Chanel Dickerson, the leader of the Youth and Family Services Division at the Metropolitan Police Department, said the number of reported missing is not going up. “We’ve just been posting them on social media more often,” Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Reid said. According to police data, the number of missing children has dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016.
- According to the DC police department, all of the teens who have been reported missing in 2017 left voluntarily.
- Some of the Teens have been found and reunited with their families. Like so:
Right now social media is the best way to get the word out. The Metropolitan Police Department has been more active in using social media to share information about missing people in the city. The social media attention on the girls who ARE missing has resulted in some of them being returned and unharmed. To stay up to date on who is indeed still actively missing and who has been found please check the Metropolitan Police Department HERE. or follow their official Twitter page.
You can click HERE for the Black and Missing Foundation website which shares information about all black people who have been reported missing nationwide. Although 14 teens didn’t go missing in one day, one child missing at all is one too many. Until everyone is home safe my thoughts and prayers to all the missing boys, girls, young, and old.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will announce soon that the city will dedicate more resources to city children who go missing. In the wake of a public outcry about the number of children, particularly teenage girls, who go missing in the District. Bowser plans to increase the number of police officers assigned to locate missing children and establish a task force. According to the Washington Post, The goal of the agency would be to ensure that city agencies work together to protect children, and that the burden doesn’t fall entirely on the police department.
Prayers to the families and let’s hope we can bring the missing home soon.
I’m 30 something reside in Massachusetts and enjoy pop culture.