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Grandmother of Missing 5-Year Old Girl Blames Lackluster Media Coverage on RaceTim King Salem-News.com
$16,000 in reward money for information regarding Jahessye Shockley's whereabouts.
(GLENDALE, Ariz.) - A grandmother in Arizona says the disappearance of her missing five-year old grandchild Jahessye (JES'-ee) Shockley hasn't received ample attention because she is African American.
Shirley Johnson's point doesn't seem hard to believe, and I say that after having covered many of these events for more than two decades, where kids go missing and people come out of the woodwork. Blogs light up like wildfire, with theories galore and tips, Facebook pages, etc. This disappearance of a girl so cute it brings a tear, has received no such attention.
Little Jahessye has been missing almost two weeks, and her grandmother has been begging the media to cover her grandchild's disappearance. Jahessye Shockley was last seen on 11 October. She disappeared while her mother was out running an errand.
The blog YourBlackWoman.blogspot.com writes: "Police believe that the girl left the house through the front door, but have no suspects in her disappearance. They've utilized more than 100 officers for the search and checked a 3-mile radius around the girl's house. This has produced almost nothing."
I was very critical about the Amber Alert program in a recent article, The Amber Alert has Become a Government Money Tool, because the system is being activated only when very specific information about the abductor is known, and in the alerts we typically receive, it is almost always a parent who has a financial obligation to a government agency.
However it does an Amber Alert was issued for Jahessye Shockley, and it now has been Canceled. Even if it did not lead to her recovery, it is good that the system was utilized in this case.
Shirley Johnson, the girl's grandmother, went to the state capitol this week to bring attention to her grand child's disappearance, "The Glendale Police Department has not brought this to the forefront.
They botched this investigation," Johnson told reporters. "I believe it’s because she’s a little black girl."
Glendale Police Sgt. Brent Coombs disagrees with Johnson, saying: "It’s still as important as it was the first day that we were working the case," Coombs added. "We’re never going to stop."
Coombs says what matters is there’s a 5-year-old girl missing, "It’s the department’s No. 1 priority. There’s so much mystery around it and we’ve got an obligation to get to the bottom of it and try our best to bring her back safely or find out where she’s at."
Jahessye Shockley is approximately approximately three feet five inches tall, she weighs 55 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. Jahessye has long hair with a ponytail. She was last seen wearing a solid white t-shirt and jeans.
The department is offering a $10,000 reward for information regarding the Jahessye Shockley's whereabouts, and the family is offering an additional $5,000. Another $1,000 is being offered by the Arizona witness tip line. Anyone who has information should contact authorities immediately.
All tips eligible for the $10,000 reward offered by police must be sent to 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377). If you have information on Jahessye and can’t remember the silent witness number, please call 911 immediately; you will still be eligible for the reward. You will remain anonymous.
Comparing the Number of Stories
Lisa Irwin was last seen "around" 3 October 2011. On the front page of Google News, under the name 'Lisa Irwin', there are seven 'batches' for a lack of a better word, of news stories relating to her missing status.
Total number of news articles about Lisa Irwin: 8110
Lisa Irwin has been missing eight days longer than Jahessye Shockley, and there are 7,177 more articles about Lisa than there are about Jahessye. The time difference accounts for a difference, but that is an incredible difference. There are 3,490 "results" under the name Lisa Irwin, and 687 "results" for the name Jahessye Shockley. I think this clearly establishes the fact that the African-American girl has and continues to, gain far less attention from newsrooms. More resources below:
Glendale Police press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.
Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 91 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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