Something Strange in the Greater DC Area: There Appears to be a Cluster of Missing African American and Latina Teen Girls

There is concern that there is a cluster or, perhaps, a spike in missing persons cases in the DC area where the missing person is either an African American or Latina teen girl.

The figure is startling — more than a dozen black and Latina teens have been reported missing in D.C. since March 1.

The apparent jump in the number of missing young people in the District has raised concern in neighborhoods and on social media.

Actually, what’s happening is D.C. police are now acknowledging a continuing problem.

As indicated by the social media response, DC authorities are taking the issue seriously.

Chanel Dickerson, who recently became commander of the D.C. police’s Youth and Family Services Division, said she was shocked by the number of missing children in the District. She said many of the cases involved runaways and she has pledged to publicize each case and provide equal service to all.

The 211 people who went missing in January did not reflect an increase in cases, Dickerson said, just better reporting by the families. While that may be true, it is far from reassuring. Few believe that the children are being snatched off the street in mass, but they do think that the children are endangered.

Sharece Crawford, a member of an Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Southeast Washington, said she believed that more black girls were getting involved with gangs and also being forced into prostitution.

“What we need is a citywide alert about the dangers out here and how parents can protect their children,” Crawford said. “Residents are very worried. They are wondering if the city is taking this seriously. They say things like, ‘If white girls were disappearing uptown, there would be a state of emergency.’ ”

The good news is that some of the missing teens are being found.

Amongst the teens missing, it’s been reported that 13-year-old Taylor Innis has been found in “good health.” Missing teen Antwan Jordan has been found safe.

Here’s the picture arrays with the pertinent information from one of the Essence authors/reporters.

As much as we are paying attention to a lot of important, fast moving things, it is equally important to pay attention to other equally important issues that impact people in different, but still important ways. It is important to remember that there are people at risk not because of anything the Federal, state, or local government may or may not be doing – though they may be at risk for things that should have long been done, but weren’t. Rather, people can be at risk just because of the reality of day to day life. It is important to keep in mind that as we focus on the big issues that we don’t lose sight of equally important things closer to home.

Today in Domestic International Terrorism and Stochastic Violence: They Have Caught the Person Making the Bomb Threats

The AP is reporting that Israeli law enforcement has caught the person who has been calling bomb threats into Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, and Jewish American civic organizations throughout the US.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and other institutions in the U.S., marking a potential breakthrough in the case.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the suspect as a hacker, but said his motives were still unclear. Israeli media identified him as an American-Israeli dual citizen and said he had been found unfit for compulsory service in the Israeli military.

“He’s the guy who was behind the JCC threats,” Rosenfeld said, referring to the dozens of anonymous threats phoned in to Jewish community centers in the U.S. over the past two months.

The FBI, which had taken part in the investigation, confirmed the arrest but had no other comment.

Israeli police described the local man as the primary suspect in the wave of threats.

Israeli police said the suspect made dozens of calls claiming to have placed bombs in public places and private companies, causing panic and “significant economic damage,” and disrupting public order, including by the hurried evacuations of a number of public venues around the world. The man is suspected of placing threatening phone calls to Australia, New Zealand and also within Israel.

Rosenfeld said the man, from the south of Israel, used advanced technologies to mask the origin of his calls and communications to synagogues, community buildings and public venues. He said police searched his house Thursday morning and discovered antennas and satellite equipment.

“He didn’t use regular phone lines. He used different computer systems so he couldn’t be backtracked,” Rosenfeld said.

While it is unclear what the motive is at this time, “found unfit for compulsory service in the Israeli military” does not exactly inspire confidence in the suspects mental health. Back in February I wrote:

We’ve got some knucklehead who gets his gratification calling these in and seeing the news coverage. He may or may not be a hard core anti-Semite, but he’s basically in it for ego gratification. And based on decades of criminological research into deviance, delinquency, and offending, it is highly likely it is a he. So step up your game ladies! He may or may not even be in the US, given VOIP technology. And he may never intend to do anything but make these calls.

I think this is what we have with this suspect. Whether it is untreated mental health issues or some other driver, he pretty much fits. And the untreated mental health issues would explain a Jewish Israeli-American calling in threats to Jewish American organizations. The problem, however, comes in now that this genius has let the cat out of the bag. As I also wrote in that same post back in February:

Or, also even worse, he never intends to escalate beyond calling in the threats, but someone else who does want to do real, physical damage to property and harm to people does. This individual or individuals waits until the coverage begins to drop off because the calls are every week or every other week like clockwork and the local news decides it needs to cover something more important. And then this person that wants to cause real harm and actually hurt people decides its time to strike because complacency has set in and some synagogue or JCC isn’t going to take the threat as seriously.

And I fully expect that this pattern will at some point be fully extended to mosques and Hispanic and Asian churches, as well as Sikh temples. I know that the Hispanic and Asian churches in my area have seen an increase in both vandalism and threats, just as the synagogues and mosques have, because they are viewed as immigrant places (of worship) and therefore acceptable targets despite being churches.

The perpetrator of the calls has been caught, but it remains to be seen what he has ultimately wrought.

Stay frosty!

Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: Always Lock the Door!

Today the BBC introduced everyone to two new stars, Professor Kelly’s children.


Daughter of Friday Evening Open Thread: Floriduh Man! Russian Edition… Wait, What?

H/T: @TheRickWilson


Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: I Say We Give Him a Shot

Perhaps our Colorado based commenters and front pagers could indicate if they know this fine fellow:

What could possibly go wrong?

Today In Be Careful What You Wish For: Not So Strange Bedfellows Edition II

Shortly after the election the American Jewish Congress and the Islamic Society of North America formally entered into a civil rights protection and promotion and civil society defense agreement. Today, in response to yesterday’s violence and vandalism at St. Louis’s Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, Linda Sarsour and Tarik El-Messidi have started a fundraising campaign to help repair the damage done.

You may remember Linda Sarsour, the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, as one of the co-chairs for the Women’s March. Tarik El-Messidi is the founder of Celebrate Mercy, an educational outreach program intended to inform both Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammed.

So well done currently unknown dickheads and domestic terrorists – your stupidity has just drawn Muslim and Jewish Americans closer together. Give yourselves a round of applause for achieving exactly the opposite of what you intended to achieve: to scare Americans of different faiths and ethnicities in order to drive them apart and make them easier to prey upon in the future. Morons!


Public Safety Announcement Regarding Marches, Assemblies, and Demonstrations

I don’t want to alarm anyone, and I’ve not found any reporting on this happening anywhere else, but one of our readers/commenters sent me the following. I’ve removed a lot of the personal references so as not to identify the reader/commenter unless he/she wishes to do so in the comments.

I’m curious if you have heard anything like the story I will relate below; this information was given to me by a close friend who is intelligent, observant, and not given to paranoia.

Dayton, OH protest in downtown area, Friday evening 2/3/17 – general theme was to protest the recent immigration EO issued by POTUS. About 1000 or so people attended the protest, and the group was marching – peaceably – along downtown streets, with appropriate police oversight and no major agitation or violence. My friend noticed two guys who hurried forward through the crowd toward the front and began to face the oncoming crowd while firing high-end cameras as fast as possible (flash enabled). He noticed that the two men had face masks similar to the ones seen on some of the violent participants in the DC protests on Inauguration Day; obviously, people on our side wonder just who those folks in DC were, so the resemblance struck a chord in his mind. Each of the men had large backpacks, which seemed out of character for the event, although certainly they may have contained photographic gear. My friend was near one of the men, so he approached the guy who was kneeling and taking pictures. He tapped the guy on the shoulder and calmly asked the guy if he was from the area, from a press group, etc. The man said nothing, but looked wary and simply shook his head slowly. My friend wanted to elicit some kind of spoken response from the man, so he asked if the man spoke English; more slow head-shaking in return. He asked the man if he (my friend) could take the other man’s picture, held up his phone to do so, only to have the guy get quite close to my friend and begin firing his flash-enabled camera as close to my friend’s face as he could get. Since it was dark, the constant flashing seemed intended to prevent my friend from seeing the man and taking a picture of him. The man began to back away, all the time shooting his camera at my friend, but facing him as he retreated. Eventually, the man melted into the crowd, and neither man was seen again (by my friend). My friend did get two photos of the guy, but the quality is poor and I’m not sure the pics would be useful anyway given the face mask (and stocking cap) the man wore.

This seems very strange behavior, even if the men were from some sort of press group (doubtful). My friend told this story to me in hopes I would tell him he’s crazy, but I was unable to reassure him. Have you heard of anything like this occurring at any gatherings around the country recently?

Other than this report emailed to me, I have not heard anything like this in regard to the recent marches and demonstrations and assemblies. However, there is a standard tactic of shaming and extortion that has been used by some groups over the years. Usually this involves trying to take pictures of the people entering and the license plates of the cars they are driving to women’s reproductive health clinics, adult entertainment emporiums – both strip clubs and video stores – in an attempt to determine who the people are and to then extort them by threatening to out them to their employers, colleagues, family, and/or friends. Or in some cases to just skip the extorting part and just out them.

Given how image identification programs, including Google’s, have made doing this type of sleuthing – using a picture to identify someone based on their or other’s social media posts – I think everyone needs to be aware that this happened. This is especially so given how certain right wing and alt-right provocateurs are known for doxing individuals or selectively editing footage in pursuit of their own objectives. I highly recommend that if you see this going on you immediately take your own photos (if possible without putting oneself in danger) of the individuals doing this – don’t ask for permission, just do it, make a note of their approximate height, build, eye and hair color (if exposed), and their clothing and the masks they are wearing, as well as the direction they move off in and immediately contact the police. Especially if they are repeatedly setting off their flashes in a strobe fashion to prevent people from photographing them. Given that this can trigger epileptic seizures, you may have a criminal complaint on one’s hands.

Stay alert, stay alive! And stay Frosty!