(Left) King as he looked when he was abducted. (Right) Aged progressed.
The Forty Percent
In 2018 there were 612,846 people reported missing to the National Crime Information Center. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is a digital database that stores crime data for the United States, so criminal justice agencies can access it. As a part of the FBI, it helps criminal justice professionals find criminals, missing people, stolen property, and terrorists. Of all the people reported missing, 207,394 were black. The other 42,464 were from all the other ethnic groups. A peculiar thing about these statistics is they do not include Latino’s as a separate ethnic group. Now that becomes important when I tell you this. Hispanics are not broken down by ethnic group as they are included in the total count for whites. Like Prince used to say.. “Use me baby.. like you never done before.. ” So we don’t really know how many ethnic whites are missing… if any. Okay… I’m not going there. Out of the 600,000 plus people who were reported missing in 2018, only 85,459 are actively open cases and 29,758 are for juveniles under the age of 18. Now, these are cases reported to the NCIC, they don’t cover cases reported to local authorities who may or may not enter the missing person into the NCIC database.
With that being said, out of the 29,758 juveniles that were reported missing last year to the NCIC, approximately 40 percent were children of color. That’s 11,903 children of color missing with active cases in the NCIC database. Now, let look at some numbers from the NCMEC, (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.)
In 2018 NCMEC assisted law enforcement and families with more than 25,000 cases of missing children:
- 92 percent endangered runaways. ( 9200 were children of color)
- 4 percent family abductions. (368 were children of color)
- 3 percent critically missing young adults, ages 18 to 20. (276 were children of color)
- Less than 1 percent non-family abductions. (92 were children of color)
- 1 percent lost, injured or otherwise missing children. (92 were children of color)
- Of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to NCMEC in 2018, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking. (1342 were children of color.)
These are just the children which the NCMEC assisted law enforcement and the families with. If we use the same statistical data for the NCIC numbers minus the 25,000 children the NCMEC assisted law enforcement with we get this data block for 60,459 children.
- 92 percent endangered runaways. ( 22,249 were children of color)
- 4 percent family abductions. ( 890 were children of color)
- 3 percent critically missing young adults, ages 18 to 20. (667 were children of color)
- Less than 1 percent non-family abductions. (222 were children of color)
- 1 percent lost, injured or otherwise missing children. (222 were children of color)
- Of the more than 55,622 runaways reported to NCIC in 2018, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking. (3178 were children of color.)
It’s staggering, that just last year more than 4520 missing children of color were likely the victims of sex trafficking!! Even more so is the fact that we only make up 13 percent of the total population, yet almost 40% of the people missing are people of color.
- Endangered Runaway”: a child who is away from home without the permission of his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
- “Family Abduction”: the taking, retention, or concealment of a child or children by a parent, other family member, custodian, or his or her agent, in derogation of the custody rights, including visitation rights, of another parent or family member.
- “Non-Family Abduction”: the coerced and unauthorized taking of a child by someone other than a family member.
- “Lost, Injured, or Otherwise Missing”: facts are insufficient to determine the cause of a child’s disappearance.
- “Abandoned or Unaccompanied Minor”: a child, not accompanied by an adult legally responsible for him or her, including those traveling alone without custodial permission, those separated by an emergency, those in a refugee situation, and those who have been abandoned or otherwise left without any adult care.
- “Critical missing person” is defined as any person under the age of 15 or over the age of 65, or anyone that, based on the specific circumstances (e.g., mentally incapacitated, patient who presents an imminent danger to him/herself or others, in a life threatening situation, real or suspected danger of foul play, etc.
A lot of talk has been going around about children being abducted for organ harvesting. As a matter of fact a few weeks ago there was an article about 300 children whose frozen remains were found in a truck. The word was that they were missing their organs. You heard the saying, “Liar, liar, pants on fire..” well whoever put that story out there must have wrote it sitting on a gas stove. Now don’t get me wrong, illegal organ harvesting is a massive criminal enterprise, pulling in billions a year. It’s just that most people needing transplants are adults and for the most part, children’s organs are too small to transplant into an adult host. By the way the most transplanted organs worldwide are the kidneys, followed by the liver and then the heart. There are credible stories of african children being abducted where investigators have found evidence of organ harvesting, but here in the states, while not ruling out organ harvesting in particular, the vast majority of the children of color who are seized for an illegal enterprise end up in the sex trade.
Why So Many ?
Why are there so many black and brown children missing? Well many black and brown parents know that systemic racism plays a major role in why kids of color are not being found or looked for at the same intensity as their white counterparts. Comedian Patrice O’Neal said in his stand up routine, “Elephant in the Room,” if he ever went sailing, he would take a white baby on a keychain with him in the off chance that he came up missing so they would look for him. True story. Black and brown children are more likely to be labeled as runaways. They receive less media attention and when they do receive media attention, it’s usually some type of sensationalism, like so and so killed somebody and took the child. Other than that police and media don’t really focus on missing children of color. Another thing is that if you are labeled a runaway, you don’t get an Amber Alert, so children of color go missing longer. With the lack of news coverage and media attention people of color are turning to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the word out. Black American Web says that after you call the police about your missing loved one, you should call a PR firm. Some families, particularly families who can afford it, have done just that. The faster and more targeted your response, the better chance you have at finding your loved one. Those of us who care and are passionate about this crisis would be better off building and funding our own solutions or supporting those that have already started.