Public outrage has arisen at the missing children cases in Washington D.C. Many different cities in the world have issues with missing person cases. However, it appears that the cases involving missing minorities are not being given enough attention and the number of these cases is seeming to increase. Latina and African-American girls’ disappearances has been brought to light due to lawmakers pleading with the FBI to open an investigation into the missing African-American women in the D.C. area.
The Associated Press first reported on this issue by producing a letter from Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond and Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the district.
Richmond and Norton first became alerted to the issue when “ten children of color went missing in our nation’s capital in a period of two weeks and at first garnered very little media attention. That’s deeply disturbing.”
They asked for the government, specifically Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey, to investigate into the disappearances to see if “these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”
Per the same article by the Associated Press, there were 2,242 missing person cases in D.C. in 2016. This number is down from 2,433 in 2015. At the moment, it is unclear whether the missing girls is due to human trafficking or not, but it is being investigated by the D.C. Police Department. The police department is working diligently and, out of about 500 cases this year, only 22 remain open. The number of missing cases, when averaged for a year, is about 2, 172 missing person cases which would be a decrease from 2016.
Social media has helped the issue gain national attention with Twitter starting its own hashtag, #missingdcgirls. One example of a tweet from @nkpnyc is, “When children go missing the best thing to do is make them recognizable 2 the general public. Keep their photos in the news #missingdcgirls.”
A twitter account named Find Our Girls has been created to help with the search. This page has gained interest with actress and singer Ryan Destiny. She tweeted: “So young. I can’t imagine. Praying they’re alive and staying strong. The more attention we put on this, the better. Find them. #FindOurGirls.”
The efforts have been somewhat successful as three of the girls out of the 10 that went missing in the week in question have been discovered.
“I think there definitely needs to be something done. Not only for those girls, but for how we deal with missing people in general,” Skylar Senters, ‘20, said. “With human trafficking, victim blaming and the racial divide regarding the subject being such big issues in our country, it’s clear something needs to be adjusted.”
The issue of missing persons is a nationwide problem that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, the national attention on the D.C. area can lead to improved safety and more people being found.