Jumiya Crump was on the run. It was close to 9:30 p.m. on July 1, 2009. “I just left,” she blurted into the phone. “I don’t know what to do.”
So Jumiya, 16, started walking. From downtown, she moved east, in the shadow of a freeway overpass, past a public housing complex. A Metrobus got her over the Anacostia River. Another short walk brought her to her grandmother’s house off Minnesota Avenue NE, the safest address she had ever known.
“I have nothing but the clothes on my back,” she had said, her voice flickering in and out. “I really don’t know what to do. Like seriously.”
Hours earlier, Metropolitan Police Department officers had taken Jumiya to the Southwest headquarters of the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency. She had sat on a bench in the first-floor lobby waiting to find out why. Her own social worker had gone home. A stranger broke the news that she would soon be transferred to an out-of-state residential treatment center for disturbed youth. She felt like she had no choice but to flee. <<read more>>