The mother of the 16-year-old Wisconsin girl who was missing for over a month and located after appearing in a disturbing Facebook video says she believes police would have been more proactive in the search had her daughter been white.
In late June, Armoni Chambers was seen being sexually assaulted in a video, which led local activists in Chicago to help track her down. Although Chambers was returned home safe, her mother, Bonnie Bruno, is not satisfied with the work of the officers.
According to Fox 6, Bruno received a video tip of Armoni getting on a Greyhound bus in Milwaukee headed to Chicago.
When Bruno contacted police about her daughter’s whereabouts, she said they didn’t follow up.
“I was told, and I quote, ‘Well she’s gone missing before, maybe she’ll come back,’” Bruno told Fox 6. “I believe if my daughter was a white girl, they would have taken all my leads seriously.”
Chicago police are still investigating the case.
A 16-year-old girl who has been missing for over a month was tracked down by local activists after they saw her getting sexually assaulted in a Facebook video.
Armoni Chambers, of Milwaukee, was reported missing on May 17. Armoni’s mother believes she was lured to Chicago by sex traffickers she met online, reported Fox6 News.
During the search process, Armoni’s mother, Bonnie Bruno (above), pushed Milwaukee police to list chambers as “critically missing” due to her fear that she was involved in prostitution. Once Milwaukee police sent Armoni’s photo to the media, Bruno received a tip that video surveillance showed her daughter boarding a Greyhound bus going from Milwaukee to Chicago.
At the end of June, a Facebook live video of Armoni being groped by a man in a backyard was posted. In the video, Armoni appeared incoherent, as if she’d been drugged.
Milwaukee activist Tory Lowe and other activists in Chicago used the video to help locate Armoni in Chicago. When they found the teen, they convinced her traffickers to let her go.
"Some of the toughest neighborhoods on the west side of Chicago, and we went there fearless and we were determined to bring Armoni home," Lowe told Fox6.
On June 29, Bonnie Bruno held a press conference and revealed her daughter was found.
"She is home, she is safe, she is loved," said Bonnie Bruno, Chambers' mother.
During the conference, Bruno revealed how her daughter met someone online whom she believed to have a romantic interest in her.
"I'm pretty sure she thought [it was] her boyfriend," said Bruno during the press conference.
However, when Armoni met her captor, she was beaten, drugged and sold for sex.
"She thought she was going to die every day," Bruno told reporters.
Now that she is finally reunited with her daughter, Bruno encouraged other parents of missing children to stay strong.
"Don't give up," Bruno said. "When your gut tells you something isn't right, you have to speak up."
Bruno says multiple men are responsible for victimizing her daughter and the Chicago police are investigating the case.
(Photo: FOX6 News)