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Woman's family blames police negligence

November 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Twenty-four-year old Mitrice Richardson has been missing since Sept.17, and while the mystery over her whereabouts continues, the woman's father and girlfriend have other concerns."Everything we go through, it hits dead ends," said Tessa Moon, Mitrice's girlfriend. "You expect the help from the police, but we haven't gotten that."

"I've seen dogs get more attention than what my daughter gets. I've seen higher money offered for dogs than what my daughter is," said Mitrice's father Michael Richardson, who along with Moon say that the Los Angeles Police were negligent in releasing Mitrice the night that she was arrested.

"We want action. We're tired of playing games," said Richardson added.

Mitrice's family says that she has been missing for seven weeks after she was arrested for not paying her $90 tab at Geoffry's restaurant in Malibu.

After being booked on two misdemeanors, she was released on her own recognizance just after midnight from the Malibu Lost Hills station. Her family says she was in no condition to be released into the streets.

"You could obviously see that something was wrong with her mental state, and still you don't call for the 5150, the psychological analysis on her. You see that something is wrong with her, but you let her go," said Moon.

"Sheriffs need to be questioned about the young, black, African American lady who was walking down there by herself, not in her right state of mind," he said. "Based on the way she was conducting herself, she was supposed to be held."

At an emotional news conference Monday night, Mitrice's father pleaded for information about his 24-year-old daughter, while also leveling serious allegations against the la county sheriff's department.

"The case is upside down. Everything they're doing do my daughter is upside down," said Mitrice's father.

Two weekend searches of the area have turned up nothing, but Moon remains optimistic.

"I know she's alive. I feel her, and there's no doubt in my mind that she's alive," said Moon.

Sheriff's officials say she did not appear impaired during her arrest, and that deputies did nothing wrong in releasing her.

However, her family says otherwise and say the sheriff's department has stonewalled their efforts to see surveillance video from the sheriff's station.

"They say my daughter walked out of the building. Show me," he demanded.


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