December 3, 2012
Members of Charlottesville Pride Community Networks say they are concerned that police are not handling the case of missing transgender teen Dashad Smith properly.
"There's definitely a perception on the part of the L.G.B.T. community here in Charlottesville that this issue is not as important; that its being swept up under the rug," said the group's president, Amy Marshall.
She says his lifestyle may be causing his case not to be taken seriously by police. She also feels that stereotypes about his lifestyle may be causing a lack of interest.
"I hate to say it but I think if this person was a blond white girl from UVA we wouldn't be just dismissing this case as just a possible person who would be out not just talking to their family," said Marshall.
The group plans to speak to city councilors about the matter. They hope that sexual orientation, race, and socioeconomic status will not determine how a case is handled.
Police say they are doing all that they can do in the case.
"The police department is doing all that they possibly can for the family of Mr. Smith and devoted the resources to this missing person and they are working everyday," said police spokesperson Ronnie Roberts.
However, critics wonder why police are not releasing specifics about the investigation; and they question if more work can be done by law enforcement.
"You just can’t tell everything that’s going on in an investigation. It would be inappropriate; but the bottom line is that we're working for the family and making every effort to find and locate Mr. Smith," said Roberts.
If you have any information on where Smith might be, police urge you to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.