Updated Monday, March 13, 2017, 2:04 p.m. EDT:
Updated Monday, March 13, 2017 7 a.m. EDT:
Over the last week, my timeline on Twitter has been inundated with retweets from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., with photos of missing black and Latinx teens. Within the last week, 10 teens have gone missing in D.C. But you wouldn’t know about this unless a) You follow the Metro Police Department’s Twitter feed, b) You’re a relative of one of the missing or c) You watch the local news. And even with c), I can’t say that I’ve seen news reports of all these teenagers.
Just take a look at the tweets over the last couple of days:
Do you see those faces? Have you seen those faces on the news? How many times did you see Natalee Holloway’s visage on the news when she went missing? Do you recall how long her search went on?
It’s troubling to see these young people’s faces and to think about what their families are currently going through, especially knowing that they’ve probably just become another case number in a pile of other numbers on some police officer’s desk.
If you look at the home page of Black and Missing, Inc., you’ll see the faces of the missing that you won’t see on your nightly news. From recent missing-persons cases to ones that are now considered “cold cases,” Black and Missing has been putting in the work when it comes to putting the spotlight on missing people of color for almost 10 years.
According to a 2014 FBI report, a total of 239,593 minorities were reported missing in the United States. And to see that so many are missing within a week in Washington, D.C., is heartbreaking.
Remember Relisha Rudd?
She disappeared in 2014, and her suspected kidnapper, Khalil Tatum, was found dead of a suicide in a D.C. park, almost a month after she went missing.
Rudd still hasn’t been found.
Many people will say that teens run away all the time. But with the proliferation of sex trafficking, especially in the D.C. area, who’s to say if these missing teens will ever be found? But the least we can do in the media is to make sure their cases get the attention they deserve.
If you have information about any of the missing teens above, call 202-727-9099.