Community Advocate Tony Herbert Asks New Yorkers to Help Find 14 Year-Old Samuel Butler Missing Since December 23, 2018. Herbert Wants Legislation Mandating Immediate Issuance of Amber Alerts When Children Go Missing
Far Rockaway, Queens: Today, Community Advocate and candidate for Public Advocate Tony Herbert, stood outside Shop Fair Supermarket to ask the community to help find 14 year-old Samuel Butler who has been missing since December 23, 2018. Sabrena Butler, Samuel’s mother said the teen took out the garbage at 10 am last Sunday then headed to Shop Fair located at 245 Beach 20th Street, Queens, to cash in bottles and cans. Samuel never returned home.
Herbert and Butler are asking the community to come forward with any information they may have about Samuel’s whereabouts. Samuel is an African-American male. He is 4’11”, weighs 96 lbs and was wearing dark grey sweat pants, orange shirt, black coat with hood, black and green sneakers.
Ms. Butler asked Mr. Herbert to hold the press conference to let the community know about the disappearance. Authorities have not issued an Amber Alert about the teen’s disappearance.
Said Herbert, “We are asking people who may have information on Samuel’s whereabouts to contact the police immediately. To everyone else, please share this information on social media. We need to get people looking for Samuel who hasn’t taken his medication in 7 days.”
Said Sabrena Butler, “Please help. I just want him home.”
Herbert was critical of the fact that authorities haven’t issued an Amber Alert for Samuel. He is calling on Governor Cuomo, Senator Cousins and Assemblyman Heastie to pass legislation directing authorities to issue an Amber Alert within 10 minutes of receiving a report that a child is missing.
Herbert continued, “This is the second time in weeks that children have gone missing and authorities failed to send out an Amber Alert. Fortunately, the children in the first instance were found within hours of their abduction as part of a Brooklyn car-jacking. But Samuel has been missing for a full week and authorities still haven’t issued an alert. This is unacceptable and we must do better. I am therefore asking our lawmakers to mandate that Amber Alerts go out within minutes of learning that a child has gone missing. The earlier the public is alerted to the event, the more likely we will be able to recover the child unharmed. There is no reason why we wouldn’t use the technology available to us to protect our children.”
The AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between broadcasters, transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies, and the wireless industry to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases. NCMEC serves as the secondary distributor of these alerts and, to date, 941 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the AMBER Alert program, including 55 recoveries credited to the wireless emergency alert program.
“Nearly 1,000 children have been recovered thanks to the Amber Alert program so it only makes sense to use the program whenever a child is reported missing. By removing the subjectivity from the process and issuing alerts for every child who is reported missing, we increase the chances of the child being found and returned unharmed.”