Last week, the Washington, D.C. Police Department informed the public that around 10 Black and brown teenage girls had gone missing. According to The Washington Post, the girls had gone missing in January, as had around 200 other individuals (apparently typical for the DC area). There has been no spike in missing children–the police are just using social media to publicize the story. However, this story is important due to the lack of media attention around missing Black and Latinx children.
The still missing teenage girls, according to WTOP are Juliana Otero, 15; Jacqueline Lassey, 15, Yahshaiyah Enoch, 13; Dashann Trikia Wallace, 15; Gladys Keitt, 18; Taliyah Thoas, 12; Aniya McNeil, 13; Dayanna White, 15; Talisha Coles, 16; Morgan Richardson 15.
The missing boys are Keon Herder, 19; Antwan Jordan,15; Navaras Johnson, 14.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 17, 2017
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 9, 2017
WTOP also reports that the publication of these cases is at the behest of the new commander of the D.C. police Youth and Family Services Division, Chanel Dickerson. Her hope is that social media will help draw attention and the assistance of the public.
We must bring these cases to light, as Black girls are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking, although there is no evidence of trafficking yet in these cases. In addition, The Huffington Post reports, Latinx teens are more likely to be forced into labor trafficking.
It must also be found out whether these children are running away from their homes purposefully, to escape physical or emotional abuse.
We must protect our children and families at all costs, and hopefully bringing these stories to the public will help the DC Police and the hurting DC families find their children.