Photo: Getty Images
  /  08.22.2022

Police in South London are facing backlash after using the wrong images to find a missing Black woman, according to The Telegraph. As previously reported by REVOLT, 24-year-old nursing student Owami Davies went missing from West Croydon on July 7. Scores of people flooded Twitter wondering why more hadn’t been done to find her and why no large media outlets seemed to report on the case.

Today (Aug. 22), the publication reported that the images being shown for over a month to help the public locate Davies were, in fact, images of a completely different person. The major mixup has resulted in precious time wasted that could have been used to find the young woman, who could be in danger.

People on Twitter voiced their frustrations as they accused the police force of not adequately handling the situation. One user wrote, “POLICE ORIGINALLY SENT OUT THE WRONG IMAGE OF OWAMI DAVIES. Because we all look the same, right? @policeconduct How this police system is literally saturated in racism is beyond belief. You should make clear that you’re obviously NOT FOR BLACK WOMEN.” Another said, “Police issued the wrong photo of Owami Davies when she first went missing. I saw the pic and the woman looks nothing like Owami. She’s clearly another Black woman. All I can do is sigh and sigh a second time louder.”

Over the weekend, it was discovered that Scotland Yard officers who came into contact with Davies may soon be under investigation. Labour’s Jess Phillips MP said, “The [Metropolitan Police Service] has to make sure it takes every case as seriously as others. We have to make sure there aren’t underlying cultural prejudices being used.” On Saturday (Aug. 20), the Met shared that they’d spoken with Davies during a welfare check at an address in Clarendon Road, Croydon on July 6. The Scotland Yard released a statement saying, “The interaction recorded on the officers’ body-worn video has been viewed by members of the Independent Advisory Group and Owami’s family to ensure openness and transparency.”

Five people were arrested in connection to her disappearance, but all have since been released on bail. Two of the suspects were originally arrested on suspicion of murder and three were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. The investigation is still ongoing.

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