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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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Florida Judge Clears Record Of Man Who Overslept And Missed Jury Duty

A Florida judge made headlines last week when he sentenced a man to 10 days in jail for oversleeping and missing jury duty. Now, CNN reports the judge has cleared the young man's record.

Judge John Kastrenakes found 21-year-old Deandre Somerville in contempt of court for not showing up to jury duty during a civil trial. Kastrenakes vacated the contempt of court charge and cleared Somerville's record.

The West Palm Beach resident was originally sentenced to 10 days, 150 hours of community service, a written apology of no less than 100 words and $233 in fines. Judge Kastrenakes' decision prompted swift outrage on social media as Sommerville does not have a criminal record.

The judge reportedly reduced the sentence Friday when Sommerville appeared before the court to read the letter. "Before my hearing, I walked into the courtroom a free man with no criminal record. I left a criminal in handcuffs. This was an immature decision that I made, and I paid the price for my freedom," Somerville said while reading his letter.

On Saturday the Judge said Somerville's letter was 'moving, sincere and heartfelt " and noted that he "has been totally rehabilitated."

Kastrenakes said he ordered probation because he wanted to send a message that jury duty is "is serious business deserving of attention, respect, and adherence to their oaths." However, he said Somerville is "a thoughtful and respectful young man."

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A Texas Man Robbed A Bank The Day Before His Wedding To Pay For The Ring

A Texas man has been charged with aggravated robbery for robbing a bank the day before his wedding to pay for the ring and venue.

According to reports, Heath Edward Bumpus approached a bank teller at Citizens State Bank on Saturday (Oct. 4) and said he had a weapon and demanded money, which he left with.

“He basically stated that he was getting married tomorrow so he didn’t have enough money for a wedding ring that he wanted to buy and he needed to pay for the wedding venue,” Sheriff Woody Wallace said.

After learning of the robbery, Wallace posted Bumpus' photo on Trinity County Sherriff’s Facebook page in hopes the public would assist with his capture. In an ironic turn of events, Bumpus' fiancee saw the photo, called him and convinced him to turn himself into authorities.

“His fiancée, who he was supposed to marry tomorrow, was able to get in touch with him on the phone when she saw our post on Facebook. She knew it was him. She contacted him and asked him if he robbed a bank. She convinced him that she knew it was him. His picture was all on Facebook. He needed to turn himself in,” said Wallace in a video posted to his Facebook page.

Wallace said most of the money was returned, along with the clothes he threw out the window of his car and the gun he hid during the robbery.

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NYPD Arrests 24-Year-Old Suspect In Quadruple Homeless Homicide

There appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the vicious attacks on five of New York City's homeless, which has left not only the community but other New Yorkers shaking their heads in dismay.

According to The New York Times, Rudy Rodriguez Santos was arrested and charged in the quadruple homicide, which took place at about 2 AM Saturday (Oct. 5) in the Chinatown section of the city. Authorities have not released the names of the victims but revealed one of them was an 83-years-old man. The fifth victim has been transported to a nearby hospital.

Advocates for the homeless say there's no way to know exactly how many men and women are living on the street, however, in a 2018 tally the number was 3,588, with 62,000 men and women living in shelters.

Blocks away from the scene, police found 24-year-old Santos holding a bloody metal bar. He was reportedly taken into custody without incident.

“The motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks,” Michael Baldassano, the chief of Manhattan South Detectives said. “No one was targeted by race, age, anything of that nature.”

Santos was captured on surveillance footage approaching the area where one of the attacks took place. Another attack was recorded on a security camera. When approached by investigators, Santos identified himself in the video but didn't confess to the crime. He later asked for an attorney.

Tang Wu, a manager of the Forever Health Pharmacy at 2 East Broadway, caught the attacks on his store's camera and was flabbergasted at the callousness of it all.

“They have nowhere to live and you beat them to death,” Wu said. “How terrible.”

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