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D.C. Police Official Reportedly Says Teens Should "Stay Home" To Not Become A Victim Of Human Trafficking

The law enforcement official says that no evidence has become apparent to support notions of human trafficking.

Earlier this month, Washington D.C.'s police department beefed up their efforts to help find a bevy of missing black and latinx teenagers by sharing their images and information on social media. According to NBC Washington, out of the 20 missing people whose images were posted online since March 19, 10 of them are adolescents. The site adds that six of those missing children were found and investigations into locating the other four people are still ongoing.

The concerning news of those absent kids -- majority are girls -- sparked a call for action across the nation, igniting town hall meetings on what should be done to return these teens to their homes. According to the Associated Press, members of the Congressional Black Caucus called upon the Justice Department to act swiftly and effectively on the matter, and 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." AP adds that missing child cases dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016 within D.C.

Radio host Joe Clair recently spoke with Chanel Dickerson, a leader of the D.C. Police Youth and Family Services Division, on the situation. During the morning show program, Clair asked the official for background information on why the number of missing children drastically increased in a short amount of time. Dickerson stated that most of these cases involve children who run away from home, but their reasoning for doing so is still unknown.

"I have no idea, I'm just trying to get to the bottom of it," Dickerson said. "I'm trying to solicit help from communities and faith-based organizations to find out the root cause why so many young people in our city are voluntarily leaving home."

Dickerson was then asked what are a few precautionary solutions that could help keep a child from becoming a victim of human trafficking. "Stay home, it's as simple as that," Dickerson said. "If they stay home, it reduces the risk. I'm not saying that's the fix-all but that's where we have to start. We have to start small, this is a problem and it'll take a community effort, but we have to start small."

The statement garnered puzzled responses from social media users, including D.C. rapper Wale.

Concerns of a human trafficking epidemic brewing in the nation's capital became a topic of conversation and consideration when the news of the missing teens surfaced. According to police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal, that is not the case. "Because of the number of releases, there have been concerns that young girls in the District of Columbia are victims of human trafficking or have been kidnapped," Bilal said. "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." Dickerson adds that law enforcement officials have "no evidence in any of these cases that anyone was kidnapped or is the victim of sex trafficking."

A mixture of pleas for help to separating false information from the facts appeared on social media websites, showcasing that this issue must be approached with caution and action.

I've had Metropolitan Police (aka DC police) officers in my texts and emails all day. Here's what's been explained to me by FOUR different officers: Earlier this year, the new police chief (acting since September 2016, appointed officially at the end of Feb.) started an initiative to share information about missing PEOPLE of all colors and sexes on social media as it's the quickest way to spread photos and information about missing persons. The change has brought greater awareness about missing PEOPLE in DC, black girls being among that group. Yes. There are black girls missing. And even ONE child missing is cause for great concern. But there is no sudden spike in the numbers. And for 2017, all of the missing teens, boys and girls, that have been found -- most of the reported missing have been-- left voluntarily. The police force does not fear there is increased organ harvesting, human trafficking, kidnapping, serial killer, etc. in the area. Again, there is no spike in the numbers of missing PEOPLE, including black girls. And yes, I know this runs contrary to most of what you've been seeing on social media. And there is no compelling reason to take the word of a writer with anonymous sources (officers can't give interviews on record without going thru substantial red tape). But I'm not the only one researching and talking to folk on the ground. NBC Washington has a break down of the story and says the EXACT same thing the officers have been telling me all day. Check it out in my profile. The article also explains the lack of Amber alerts, which I know was a compelling concern for many. READ THE ARTICLE. Let me know your thoughts. #bringbackourgirls #bringbackourboys • Also, The Wire character is "Slim Charles". Long before the show, he was forever (and will forever be) known as "Big G" in DC. My bad for combining the names. The other stuff still stands.

A post shared by Demetria Lucas D'Oyley (@demetrialucasdoyley) on

Here's the FACTS about these 'Missing DC girls' ##SwipeForFacts

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An ex-con who's suspected of brutally beating his girlfriend and her son to death committed suicide by jumping in front of Metro-North train six hours after the murders.

According to The New York Daily News, Hector Cruz, 51, is believed to have stabbed and used a workout weight to bludgeon Marisol Ortiz, 51 and her 14-year-old son Alanche del Orbe in their Bronx apartment.

Ortiz's 21-year-old daughter, Chantal del Orbe, found the bodies after returning home from a friend's house. Before bursting into tears, Chantal hung a birthday banner over a makeshift memorial created for her brother who was killed a day before his 15th birthday.

“He was sweet all the time,” she said of her brother. “It was all love in that house.”

Grieving friends, family and those in the neighborhood say they have no doubt Cruz is the killer. “Go in peace my aunt with my nephew. Wow, I feel so powerless why do things like this have to happen. My God. Mourning. What a great loss," Emiluz Ortiz wrote on Facebook.

Cruz was released from prison in 2016 after serving seven years for first-degree assault, and while speaking with the Daily News Chantal said Cruz showcased signs of possessiveness.

“He was a bit jealous. He was strange. He would look through (Ortiz’s) phone but he was never aggressive. He always said he wanted the family united,” she said. “He never really convinced me. Days before he was acting strange.”

The crime was so severe, Ortiz’s cousin Haydee Leonardo said it's affected the funeral.

“They’re going to cremate the bodies because they were told that their faces were so brutally beaten, you can’t see who they were. You can’t see their faces,” he said.

Cruz was reportedly killed by a northbound Metro-North train at the Hartsdale station Sunday morning (Feb. 17) at 9:45 AM.

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Discrimination Based On Hair Can Result In A $250K Penalty In NYC

New York City's Commission on Human Rights will reveal guidelines later this week for the legal recourse a person can take if they've been targeted at work, school or a public space based on their hair.

According to the New York Times, the law applies to anyone in New York City but is aimed at helping African-Americans who are disproportionately victimized based on the texture or style of their hair. The guidelines specifically read "natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.”

When enacted, individuals who have been harassed, demoted or fired, the city's commission can issue a penalty for up to $250,000 and there is no cap on damages. The commission can also force an internal policy changes and rehirings at companies in question.

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Texas Teen Sentenced To 25 Years After Stabbing Best Friend To Death

A Texas teen was convicted of murdering her best friend last year after an argument transpired during a sleepover. The teen, whose name has not been released because she's a minor, is 14-year-old and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing Nylah Lightfoot in the chest and neck with a kitchen knife.

“I stabbed her and I made the worst mistake of my life,” the convicted girl said. "I wish I had been thinking clearly at the time. I pulled it out instantly and tried to stop her from running.”

According to reports, the accused girl said she and Nylah met at school and quickly became close, stating they were like sisters, but they also fought like siblings.

On the night in question, the girl said she went home after a pool party because there wasn't enough room in the bed at Nylah's apartment. The two began to argue via text message about a slamming door and then about returning clothes that each borrowed.

The teen then claims Nylah showed up at her apartment at 2:30 AM and then began arguing again. The girl says she retrieved a knife from her kitchen. Realizing what she did, the teen said she tried to help Nylah and stop the bleeding with a towel.

Nylah died at John Peter Smith Hospital May 29. Nylah's mother, Antoinette Carter made a victim's impact statement after sentencing and expressed grief her daughter's death came at the hands of her best friend.

“When they told me it was you, it hurt,” Carter told the girl. “You was at my house every day.”

The prosecution, however, didn't buy into the girl's versions of events and stated her anger problems is what caused Nylah's death.

"When she came outside with the knife, she was still in control. But not even her friend could stop her. She was only following through with what she had threatened twice,” Tarrant County prosecutor Jim Hudson said.

The girl faced 40 years in prison but was sentenced to 25. She will serve her time in a juvenile facility until her 19th  birthday.

The girl's stepfather said the verdict was unfair and cited Ethan Couch, the white teen who received no jail time, for driving drunk in 2013 and killed four people.

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