Demand A Public Oversight Hearing of the DC City Council's Judiciary Committee on the Metropolitan Police Department's Unresolved Homicides and Missing Persons Division and Encourage Passage of the Relisha T. Rudd Law.
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PLEASE FORWARD THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO ENCOURAGE PASSAGE OF THE RELISHA RUDD LAW, MAKING IT A FELONY FOR PARENTS NOT TO REPORT A CHILD UNDER 13 MISSING OR DEAD WITHIN 24 HOURS OF INCIDENCE AND TO DEMAND A PUBLIC OVERSIGHT HEARING OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT'S MISSING PERSON AND UNRESOLVED HOMICIDE DIVISION.
The Honorable Kenyan McDuffie, Chair Pro Tempore
DC City Council Judiciary Committee Chair
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
Dear Chairman McDuffie:
This is a letter of request for a Public Oversight Hearing of the Metropolitan Police Department's Unresolved Homicides and Missing Persons Division. We extend our concerns to include collaborative agencies as Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety & Justice, Forensic Health and Science Laboratories, Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, Office of Victims Services and any other deemed essential to reducing the number of outstanding Unresolved Homicides and Missing Persons in the District of Columbia.
The Committee on the Judiciary is responsible for all legislation related to criminal, civil, and administrative law in the District of Columbia. It also oversees all of the District’s public safety agencies, conducting hearings to hold agencies and their directors accountable for performance and spending. The Committee also serves as the Council's liaison with federal partners in the justice system. We are counting upon your Committee to avail itself to public hearing the multiple concerns and solutions to reduce the crisis of Missing Person and Unresolved Homicide. District Citizens Relisha Rudd and Charnice Milton have garnered International attention for the distinctions of Missing Person and Unresolved Homicide. Relisha Rudd's disappearance from a DC Homeless Shelter went without report to the Metropolitan Police for three weeks. Sarah Stein, PhD of The Center for the Resolution of Unresolved Crime advises that over 85% of children missing after three hours are found dead. Unfortunately, we have not found Relisha Rudd. We believe that if Relisha's absence was reported earlier then, we would have had a better chance of finding her. Hence, we propose the Relisha T Rudd Law which would require mandatory reporting of missing children under age 13 within 24 hours of their noted absence. We must hold parents and guardians accountable for the care of their children. We believe this measure will reduce threats of death, violence and kidnapping and preserve our City's families and public safety.
Charnice Milton was murdered in Southeast Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. She lived, worked and worshiped in her Native City. A graduate of Ball State University, she earned a Master's Degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Milton covered Wards 6, 7 and 8 for the Capital Community News. She was on her way home from the monthly meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee when she was used as a human shield by a gang member avoiding a direct shot from a rival gang member. On the night that the Honorable Mayor Muriel Bowser visited our home to extend condolences on behalf of the City, Charnice Milton was placed on the City’s Cold Case List. The name of the List has since been changed to Major Case/Unresolved Homicides however, unchanged is our daughter’s place on the list.
On May 27, 2015, she was the 31st added. Today, there are 48 and growing. The MPDC's Major Case/Cold Case Unit is composed of eight detectives. With over 100 Major Case/Unresolved Homicides in the past two years, it must be daunting for such a small staff to bring closure to such a significant compilation of cases. We must answer why a City of this magnitude, after years of community policing, has great duress in resolving homicides. Our concern is not why someone was murdered or the content of the character of the person that was murdered. We are concerned that a father, mother, sister, brother or other is unable to know peace because the homicide is unresolved. The City should not sleep until every family has been restored by the resolution of each. The City’s efforts aid in bringing closure for families and friends suffering emotional dissonance and reassures public safety. We believe that a review of people, processes and performances must be done publicly.
We thank you for taking to review this request and seek a public hearing on these matters very soon.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Cc Councilmember Jack Evans, Judiciary Committee member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Mary Cheh, Judiciary Committee member, email@example.com
Councilmember LaRuby May, Judiciary Committee member, LMay@DCCOUNCIL.US
Councilmember Anita Bond, Judiciary Committee member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Mitchell, Judiciary Committee Director, email@example.com
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