WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Clergy, parents and high schools students met on the steps of Covenant Baptists United Church of Christ Monday to voice exasperation over sex trafficking in the District. An issue the group says has recently claimed 10 missing teens, each black or latina.
“Sometimes when girls of color are missing they are deemed ‘runaways’ and sometimes that prevents an amber alert from being sent out, they only send out amber alerts for those who are considered snatched or kidnapped,” Dr.Vanetta Rather, founder of female support group My Sister my seed, said. “It appears that when its girls of color there’s not this urgency.”
The group says the 10 girls are missing from southeast and southwest D.C.
Dr. Rather said that the ‘uptick’ of missing girls in such a short span of time–about two months–should be alarming.
In 2015, D.C. police‘s Missing Persons Unit received 2,425 juvenile cases. A total of 2,401 of those cases were closed with the juvenile located, according to their annual report.
None of the missing girls’ families were present at the event, nor were any of the families contacted by Dr. Rather, the event coordinator.
Most Media Outlets Aren’t Reporting on the Disappearance of Black and Latinx D.C. Teens
The Root reported that in the past number of days alone, 10 young people of color have been reported missing in D.C. but haven’t received much media attention other than local news outlet mentions and tweets from the Washington, D.C., police department. Currently, 15-year-old Jacqueline Lassey, 13-year-old Yahshaiyah Enoch, 15-year-old Antwan Jordan, 15-year-old Juliana Otero, 15-year-old Dashann Trikia Wallace, 13-year-old Aniya McNeil, 15-year-old Dayanna White, 16-year-old Talisha Coles, and 15-year-old Morgan Richardson are all still missing.
The city of Washington, D.C., also seems to have a larger problem with missing young people, specifically young women; at one point in January 2017, there were as many as 15 open cases involving missing girls in the area at one time, FOX 5 reported.
On Twitter, many Black women users posted viral tweets of the missing reports, encouraging others to share while questioning why they hadn’t heard about the disappearances on the nightly news — in the same way the disappearance Tricia McCauley, another woman who went missing in D.C., had been covered.
The total number of people reported missing in D.C. has remained constant since 2014, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser during a Thursday press conference, addressing online speculation and concern about a rise in reports of missing teens. The mayor added that there is no evidence to support an increase in missing persons, nor is there evidence that recent reports are related to human trafficking.
At least 462 out of 708 total people reported missing this year were juveniles. Most teens reported missing were located or returned home, leaving 95 percent of reported cases this year closed.
MPD did not provide a racial breakdown of their missing juveniles data at the press conference. But at least 37 juveniles of those reported missing since January have not been located, based on an HuffPost analysis of press releases and tweets of the critically missing.
All of those 37 missing are black or Latinx. (Latino)
This article information came from: Teen Vogue, The Root, Huffington Post and WUSA9.