The Metropolitan Police Department reiterated Friday that despite hysteria around missing teenagers in Washington, D.C., all teenagers reported missing in 2017 left voluntarily.
Viral posts on Instagram and Twitter have created a social media hysteria that the number of black girls missing in D.C. has skyrocketed, leading members of Congress to write a letter to the FBI and the Department of Justice requesting federal involvement.
Given that the hysteria is now too loud to ignore because of the publicity provided by actress Taraji P. Henson and rapper LL Cool J, the Metropolitan Police Department has been locked in a public relations battle, insisting that the number of cases of missing children in D.C. is actually decreasing, rather than increasing.
According to NBC Washington, police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal said Friday that all teens reported missing in 2017 left voluntarily, dismissing the theory that the teenagers have been caught up in human trafficking.
“We look at every case closely to make sure that doesn’t happen, but to my knowledge, that hasn’t been a factor in any of our missing person cases,” Bilal said.
The MPD also took pains to state that the viral graphic circulating that says that 14 girls went missing in a single day is patently false.
In a Facebook Live stream Friday, Police Commander Chanel Dickerson said that there’s no evidence any of the missing teens have been kidnapped or involved in human or sex trafficking.
Dickerson urged that adults should not let children reside in their homes without the approval of that child’s parents. Moreover, Dickerson said if adults see children wandering around outside during school hours, they should get in touch with the police.
“I just want to challenge everyone that when you’re posting even on the media outlets…let’s just please get the facts and report the facts,” Dickerson added.
In D.C., missing children dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016.
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