The public outcry and concern has garnered a heighten state of alert. In the past three months alone, the Washington D.C. have reported 37 unsolved missing persons cases involving both girls and boys, all of whom are black or Hispanic. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Acting Chief Newsham confirmed they have found no connection to these cases and human trafficking, which is another theory that has been circulating online. In the letter signed by the Representatives, it stated; “Ten children of color went missing in our nation’s capital in a period of two weeks”. The Metro Police Department and the District of Columbia contends that it investigates every case the same way regardless of race or gender. In D.C, and across the Nation in whole, citizens are concerned over the lack of media attention due to the majority of missing being African-American and Latina.
On social media, people are using the hashtag #MissingDcGirls to voice frustration over lack of media coverage in what many believe is an injustice in cases of missing black and Latina girls. Today celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, L.L. Cool J, and P. Diddy weighed in on their social media platforms to express a demand for action from the Federal Government.
“Government has no more important role than protecting our children,” the letter from the Congressional Black Caucus to Sessions and Comey said. “We ask you to work with our local communities to look into these reports, determine what is going on and provide the proper support to respond.”
According to the Black and Missing foundation, an organization that brings awareness to missing children of color, 36.8 % of missing children nationwide are black.
“We also noticed that a lot of African American children that go missing are initially classified as runaways,” Natalie Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation. “They do not get an Amber Alert or media coverage.”
Report and Identify Missing Persons. ACT IMMEDIATELY if you believe that your child is missing. Call local law enforcement first, then call the National Center forMissing & Exploited Children: 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678) and download the quick reference guide for families in English or Spanish .
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 22, 2017
— Siraaj Hasan (@Siraaj_CEO_SMSB) March 24, 2017