According to a letter written by lawmakers to the Department of Justice, FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are being urged to launch an immediate investigation into the startling disappearance of the children since the beginning of 2017.
In the letter, the DoJ are being urged to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”
“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,” the letter reads.
As the AP reports, the District of Columbia logged 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, in the first three months of this year, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, the city’s police force. Twenty-two were unsolved as of March 22, police said.
The Twitter profile for the DC police department is quite literally riddled with images of missing young black and latino girls. In spite of the officials’ concern and the posts on Twitter, police are assuring the public that there is nothing out of the ordinary.
“We’ve just been posting them on social media more often,” said Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Rachel Reid.
“We can’t focus on the numbers,” said Derrica Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation. “If we have one missing child, that’s too many.
Police then went on to dispel talk of these girls being kidnapped and sold into slavery by human traffickers.
“We have no indication to believe that young girls in the District are being preyed upon by human traffickers in large numbers,” said police commander Chanel Dickerson, leader of the Youth and Family Services division, according to NBC News 4.