This article touches on a huge problem with law enforcement agencies and associated DOJ funded partners who are profiling people with too little information.
Broken System or Broken People?
Take a look at the pictures contained within this article and then visit the link provided to Gabriel Cheever's missing persons profile at the National Center of Missing & Exploited Children.
Before we get started, let me make it perfectly clear what you are about to read is not in any way to criticize any law enforcement agency mentioned, but it will be critical of the people who are tasked with intaking information from the initial report filed (local police officer) and any person within law enforcement who handled the processing of Gabriel Cheever's initial report, all the way through any Department of Justice personnel and DOJ funded partners who processed his missing persons report in the same manner.
In June of 2021, we were alerted of a missing child case in Florida of a young boy named Gabriel Cheever. Like all of the cases we profile, we scrape the Internet to see what additional information we can find, including additional photos and video where available. We combine these assets to provide as comprehensive of a profile as we can to help inform visitors who are interested in learning more and how they might be able to help.
After visiting the missingkids.org website and conducting a search of profiles published from July 1st, 2021 to August 6th, 2021, we found the additional profiles listed to the right of other children in which their profile pictures were less than any investigator could ever fear of having as the only way to physically identify a missing child of all people. The pictures are not the only issue at hand, but the description included that is supposed to give valuable information is nearly left blank.
We speak with people on a daily basis who are family members of missing people and they have their hands tied when it comes to what is included in their missing loved ones profile. When someone reports their child missing, we can only hope the very basics at a minimum are asked of the reporting person but it seems like there is a lack of accountability or care in what is provided on those initial reports and subsequent profiles. Who should we focus on when it comes to the lack of information or less than useful photos being used? Is it the family showing little concern for their missing child and could care less if the child is found or is it the police officer intaking the report who should be more concerned the photo provided was the best the family could provide?
Think about it . . . the amount of information does not need to be overly comprehensive, but it should be useful. The photo doesn't have to be the best, but it should at least give you a good idea of what the child looks like without filters and unflattering poses. Who do we look to to fix this?
Is what we are seeing to the right of this article the accepted standard of law enforcement and DOJ partners? The sample to the right is just that, a very small sample of many more profiles with the same lack of consideration or respect for a child who may be in extreme danger or deceased. Who is approving those profiles and allowing this to be a now expected and accepted standard of reporting these cases to the general public?
This lack of respect, consideration, dignity and professionalism is appalling and any person that truly cares about any one of those missing children should be shocked and angered by what they are seeing.
So this means Gabriel Cheever is only one of many children that the people (not the organizations) that we entrust with taking, filing and distributing to other law enforcement agencies their reports must not have an established standard of reporting. And if this is the acceptable standard, it needs to be reconsidered and held to much higher regard than what we found. Remember, we only documented a small amount of profiles published over a very limited timeframe. When we visited the website in question, we didn't go there with any inclination of reporting this to you. We went there to verify information regarding a missing child, to be sure the information we had seen on another social media site was correct before we shared it with other people.
Thank you for taking time to read this and please take time to comment if you have something to share in this regard.