Reaction to Mitrice Richardson

On my post last week during “This Week in the News“, I lightly touched on the Mitrice Richardson situation.  I posted a link to the CNN story that confirmed the skull and bones found in Malibu did belong to the 25 year old graduate student.  In keeping strong with the 31 Day Blogging for Branding challenge, today’s post will be my response to the situation revolving around her disappearance.  I could talk about Alvin Greene getting arrested, Philip Markoff committing suicide, the disappearance of overdraft fees, or the arrest of alleged serial killer Elias Abuelazam, but I will discuss the facts and share my opinion of the untimely death of this former beauty queen.

Mitrice had been arrested on September 16 of last year after not paying an $89 dinner bill at a Malibu restaurant.  The manager had her arrested and police took her into custody and had her car towed.  I won’t get into too many details, but a little after midnight, the police decided to release her from custody, even after her mother, Latice Sutton, told authorities that if they released her daughter, she would come pick her up.  Ms. Sutton also let authorities know that her daughter suffered from mental issues and that she may not be in her right mind.  Ms. Sutton did not learn of her daughter’s release until 5:30 am, at which time she filed a missing person’s report.  It took almost a year to find this girl, even though just a few weeks ago a former classmate claimed he saw her in Las Vegas.  Micheal Richardson, Mitrice’s father, is claiming negligence on behalf of police personnel, saying he heard about his daughter’s death via the press conference.  (Coroner officials did call him and left a message, which is standard procedure.)  Mitrice’s body was found approximately 2.5 miles from her last known credible sighting. 

So many questions pop into my head.  First, if her body was less than 3 miles from the police station, why did it take 11 months to locate her body?  I’m no forensics expert, but it seems to me the area surrounding her last known whereabouts should have been searched thoroughly.  Second, why wasn’t her mother notified of her release immediately as she requested?  Yes, it is illegal to hold someone against their will if they are not being arrested, but her mother asked she be called if her daughter were released, and she would come pick Mitrice up.  Her car had been impounded and her phone was in her car, so how was she going to get home?   Third, why did the national public JUST hear about this last month?  Whenever “certain” people go missing, the national media is notified almost immediately.  Lastly, isn’t it a little tacky that the press conference went on as scheduled even though not everyone in her immediate family may not have known about her death?  If foul play was involved, I hope her murderer is found quickly.  The ending to this story was very bittersweet, and I hope that she gets the justice she deserves.  

Have any of you heard about Mitrice Richardson before this post?  If so, how did you get the information?  For those of you well versed in the law, what am I missing?  Should her mother have been notified, or did she have a right to go about as she pleased?  I personally feel like this story has a lot of holes.  And I hope someone can fill these holes quickly.  Do you know of any other stories of people who have gone missing but the national media has paid little attention?  If so, I ask that you use this platform to share.  It’s about time we start speaking up for those who are done wrong.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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What’s Really Important

Everyone has become obsessed with Donald Sterling and his racist remarks (which is nothing new) and the elevator fight seen ’round the world with Solange and Jay-Z.  But in the grand scheme of things, these things don’t really matter.  Sterling being a racist is nothing new, based on a housing discrimination suit brought against him.  And the perfect façade the Carters have built has crumpled slightly – boo hoo.

I have talked about missing girls before on my blog before, specifically Mitrice Richardson.  I have failed to talk about the 234 missing girls in Nigeria, who have reportedly been kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram; the group has threatened that the girls will be sold as wives, if they have not been already.   And I have loved seeing the world, specifically Americans, come together to help rescue these children.  Unfortunately, we do not do the same with girls in our own country.

According to The Covering House, human trafficking generates $9.5 million each year in the United States, and the average age of children forced into prostitution is 13-14 years old.  The top areas in this country for human trafficking include Las Vegas, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, DC.   Unfortunately, there are not enough resources for underage victims to receive help and assistance if they are able to leave these situations.

Let’s not forget Relisha Rudd, the 8 year old girl who was last seen on March 1.   She was reportedly with Kahlil Tatum, a custodian that worked at the homeless shelter where Relisha lived with her mother and three younger brothers.  Police believe Tatum killed his wife and then killed himself.   Unfortunately, authorities are not close at all to finding Relisha.  They are still looking for her and treating it as a recovery mission.

While I applaud all of us for bringing attention to these girls in Nigeria, let’s not forget that there are girls, and boys, in our own backyard who may be victims of kidnapping and/or human trafficking.  To help end human trafficking in the US, you can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center to find out about organizations in your city, learn the red flags of human trafficking, meet with your local or state government officials, organize a fundraiser, among other activities.

The only way to end it is if we stand up and are united.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Will They Ever Get Justice?

Apparently, I’ve been under a rock with this whole Trayvon Martin case.  I guess I’ve been so tired and so not paying attention to the news that I had no interest in clicking on people’s links to the story.  But as I read OneChele’s post yesterday and FINALLY read what happened, my heart crushed.  Let’s look at the facts-a(n unarmed) 17 year old boy is walking in his soon-to-be stepmother’s neighborhood one Sunday evening and is killed.  Apparently, he looked like he didn’t belong, at least to the “head” of the Neighborhood Watch, a 26 year old man who called police and stated someone who looked “suspicious” was in his neighborhood.  Even after the dispatcher told George Zimmerman to stop following the young man and that police were on the way, he did what he wanted to do.  No one knows exactly what transpired, but by the time police arrived, this kid who had dreams of being an aviation mechanic lay face down in the ground, dead from a gunshot to the chest.  The only things he had on him were a bag of skittles, a can of tea, and some change.  Even after confessing to shooting this kid, proclaiming self-defense, George Zimmerman is a free man.  Of course the community and Trayvon’s family is in an uproar and wants to know what the police are going to do about it. 

And lest we not forget Mitrice Richardson, the young lady I have mentioned on my blog NUMEROUS times, whose body was found 11 months after she walked out of the Lost Hills police station in Malibu, CA after being arrested for not paying a restaurant bill.  Today at noon (PST), the Los Angeles County is releasing a report of how the police handled Mitrice’s remains.  Yes, Mitrice’s parents just settled a wrongful death suit with the Sheriff’s office, but in my eyes, that’s not enough.  A cause of death has not been determined, even after having her body exumed, and her killer still roams the streets. 

I ask you all not to ever forget these two young people who had dreams, goals, and families who loved them.  Most of all, they were taken away too soon.  I truly hope and pray that their killers are brought to justice.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Newsworthy Updates from the Southern Girl

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  And it’s been even longer since I’ve done a “This Week in the News” post.  I got a request to post one (thanks, Southern Cousin!), so this is what we have.  Some things are not that new, but they’re new to you ! 🙂

First, 24 year old Howard University sophomore Alonzo Guyton was shot and killed on October 26 in apparent robbery attempt.  Applause to Prince George’s County officers for identifying a suspect.  DC resident William Knight, who is only 20 years old, has been arrested for his murder.  Also, Alexis Simpson,  a 19 year Bowie State University student, was indicted last month for the stabbing death of her roommate, 18 year old Dominique Frazier.  The trial is set for March 26, 2012.  Reportedly, the roommates were having issues from the beginning, and room change requests were submitted to the Housing Department.  It will be interesting to see what comes out during the trial.  It is just unfortunate that the lives of two young women will never be the same.

Second, I haven’t mentioned Mitrice Richardson lately on the blog.  But she and her family are still in my thoughts and prayers.  This article, written by Mike Kessler, takes an amazing look at her case.  Just know it’s not over, and I hope the truth surrounding her death comes out soon.

Next, this Penn State sex abuse scandal.  Here’s what I’ll say:  Sandusky, if guilty of child abuse, needs to rot under the jail.  And if his phone interview with Bob Costas is indicative of anything, I think he’s guilty. And if anyone, parent, teacher, coach, whomever, knew of the abuse, they deserve to rot, too.  Listening to a portion of his interview, I don’t know what would make him think horseplaying with a child in a shower (let alone being in the shower with a student in the first place) would be ok.  Should the football team go on to finish their season?  Absolutely.  I agree with Elizabeth Hasselbeck (surprise, surpise)-the students should not have to suffer for the actions of their coaches.

Herman Cain, Herman Cain.  I really wanted to (attempt to) like you and think you would be a formidable GOP candidate and opponent to Obama.  But alas, you disappoint me.  First, the allegations of sexual harassment, now you have no knowledge of the President’s stance on Libya.  And for that matter, you probaby don’t even have a grasp on the facts.  I’m done with you, sir; good day!

And on the girl I love to watch on tv, Kim Kardashian.  All I can say is, “Shame on you!”  First of all, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a potential for the NBA lockout this summer?  So she knew Kris didn’t have any income coming in.  Next, I don’t care what she says, she got married for publicity and to try to one up her sisters.  Khloe’s wedding wasn’t half as elaborate and over the top as Kim’s.  (Not that that has any bearing on the length of her marriage.) 

On the upside, I have been named the Outreach Co-Chair for First Book-DC, which provides books to students in the city and to lower the illiteracy rates.  Our official launch event is November 30, so be on the lookout for the event info!  Yes, I’m still job hunting.  Oh, and there’s some other good news, but I won’t go into details because I don’t want to jinx it. 😉  Enjoy your day, and until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

This Week in the News

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the Coors Light Coldest Artist Live Show featuring N.E.R.D & Pac Div in Baltimore.  GREAT performances, and I had a great view!  The official post about the event will be up by early next week.

Unfortunately, I have to start this post with some bad news.  This week, we’ve lost some iconic people-Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Dr. Jack Kervokian, and Gil Scott-Heron (last week).  My condolences go out to their families and loved ones. 

On some other sad news, former N.C. Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards has been indicted on charges he gave campaign money to his mistress.  *OUCH!!!*  It appears that Edwards can’t win for losing.   At one time, he was America’s Golden Boy.  Then things started taking an unfortunate turn of events-from his affair to his love child now this. 

And speaking of Presidential candidates…Mitt Romney is seeking to become the Republican nominee for President in the 2012 election.  It seems as if Romney may have the same problems he had 4 years ago-his Mormon background, his flip-flopping on the issues, and the universal healthcare bill he signed into Massachusetts law during his tenure.  In my humble opinion, I believe that Romney is the best choice in Republican nominee for the Presidency.  But it will remain to be seen how this campaign season plays out.

On a brighter note, one of my favorite rock stars, Pink, delivered a baby girl this week!  Willow Sage Hart, daughter of Pink and cutie Carey Hart, was born on Thursday morning.  Baby, mom, and dad are doing great!

I haven’t talked about Mitrice Richardson lately, but the latest news is that her parents have filed a lawsuit against the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.  Although there have been numerous requests for the FBI to examine Mitrice’s remains and determine a cause of death, I’m still not certain if that’s been done.  For her family’s sake and so she can rest in peace, I hope that one day we can find out what really happened to this woman.

What news is going on in your city?  Have an awesome weekend, and I’ll be back next week. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!