By now all of you are familiar with the name Casey Anthony. While most of Black Twitter and Nancy Grace appeared to be obsessed with her trial for the murder of her daughter, Caylee, you might have missed the following names
These were all Black women who were killed by one madman in Cleveland, OH in the most horrific ways imaginable. Equally horrifying was that he was so brazen that be didn't bother to bury most of their bodies and what's horrifying is that the community these women lived in didn't bother to look for them.
Their body parts in many cases were left out in the open to rot inside the killer's house and the stench of their decaying bodies filled the air of the neighbohood, but even in the stench of death, the neighbohood around them kept moving along and the police didn't bother to look for these women. All were Black. In some cases, the women weren't even reported missing.
Some might console yourselves with the idea that this couldn't happen to you. You couldn't go missing without someone looking for you. Your family would raise Hell. But what if you or someone you loved did go missing and the police department told you to get lost? What if your family decided to publicize your disappearance, and the police department intervened and told reporters not to cover your disappearance? What if someone saw you while you were barely alive, yet stillin captivity, and then walked away from you and went to a baby shower and left you to die? Couldn't happen to you?
Well that's what happened to Romona Moore, a straight-A Psychology student who attended Hunter College.
By 9 a.m. that morning, April 25, it was too much worry for the mother to stand. She called 911, and 30 minutes later, two officers from the 67th Precinct arrived at her Remsen Avenue home. As she remembers it, they told her: "She's 21. We're not supposed to take the report." She begged them, and (out of pity, she believes) the officers took complaint No. 2003-067-65609.
They told Carmichael that if Romona still hadn't returned by seven that night, marking her gone for 24 hours, she should call the precinct. At seven on the dot, Carmichael called the precinct. A detective told her: "Lady, why are you calling here? Your daughter is 21. These officers should not have taken the report in the first place." The next day, April 26, the complaint was marked "closed." Village Voice
A few weeks prior, the NYPD had spared no expense to look for Svetlana Aronov.
The day after Aronov vanished, police launched a massive search for her and the cocker spaniel, Bim, she had taken for a walk. The NYPD called a press conference, assigned two dozen detectives to the case full-time, and went door to door, passing out flyers with pictures of Aronov and Bim on them. The cops traced the Aronovs' phone and bank records and analyzed surveillance tape gathered from stores and apartment buildings near her home. A police van emblazoned with the department's 800 tip-line number drove around her neighborhood, blaring details of her disappearance over a loudspeaker. A letter was sent to rare-books dealers, a business the Aronovs dabbled in. Detectives reportedly even consulted a psychic. Village Voice
Mean while her killers were doing absolutely NOTHING to hide Romona Moore. In fact, they put her on display mere blocks from her home:
It wasn't as if the killers were in deep hiding. They not only were into kidnapping, rape, and torture, but they even gave tours of their den of horrors.
Romando Jack, then 19, was the last known person, other than her killers, to see Romona Moore alive, though authorities now believe that the killers also showed her off to others. Village Voice
If this were like all of the other horrific crime stories that we've covered over the years, you would rant an rave about the unequitable treatment. We would whine and complain about Nancy Grace, the police, the Black Elite Establishment, and mourn the fact that the lives of Black women and girls aren't valued in this country.
But Romona Moore's case didn't end with the conviction of her killers. Her mother didn't just call out the NYPD for failing to investigate Romona's dissappearance and working to undermine efforts to publicize her case, she sued them in federal court. Despite the legal odds being against her, Romona's mother made it past the first legal burden, a federal judge gave the goahead for her to move forward against the NYPD for the "practice of not making a prompt investigation of missing-persons claims of African-Americans, while making a prompt investigation for white individuals."
She's suing the NYPD for racial bias in their unwillingness to invesitgate her daughter's disappearance and she's doing it by herself. Romona's relatives have set up the Romona Moore Legal Defense Fund. i spoke with her cousin Shawndell Terry over the last few weeks and in addition to being able to send donations via check or wire transfer (the account is at Bank of America) you can now donate online. Shawndell set up a ChipIn widget which you can find in our sidebar to the right of this post.
So while I'm on blogcation, I hope you'll contribute generously to the Romona Moore Legal Defense Fund. If Romona's mother wins, it will be a victory for Black victims of crime everywhere. But even if she doesn't win, you gotta admire her willingness to fight for her daughter.
The Romona Moore Legal Defense FundDonate via wire transfer at any Bank of America location.P.O Box 60884Rochester, NY 14606OR