Bring Ashanti's Law To NYS: Adult Alert for people ages 18-65 who are in immediate danger

Bring Ashanti's Law To NYS: Adult Alert for people ages 18-65 who are in immediate danger

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DOMINIQUE CALHOUN started this petition to State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy and

Community Activists & Organizations are fighting for Ashanti’s Law to be brought to New York State with the help of Meltony Billie of Virginia, Ashanti’s Billie’s father who fought to get the national law to be passed in the name of his 19 year old daughter who was abducted and murdered. Tiara Lott was a 22 year old woman who was also abducted and murdered here in Western New York January 2021. She sent out text messages for help. Since she was 22 the authorities said they could not issue an alert. If Ashanti’s Alert was brought to NYS when it was passed June 2020 it could have either prevented her death or caught her killer sooner. They are asking people to sign a change.org petition to pressure law makers to apply for funding in New York State. 

“The Greatest pain that I have experienced in this world, was losing my first born, my daughter, Ashanti Markaila Billie. Let me not lose hope, in our leaders, our states or our Nation. I know you all have heard our questions, now it’s time for us to hear your answers!” 
-Meltony Billie (Ashanti Billie’s Father)

“This has by far been the most traumatic situation I've ever endured in my life. 
On January 30th 2021 my life changed for the worst, my daughter tiara lott went missing i went to the police begging for help explaining the circumstances behind her disappearance only to be told there was nothing they could do due to it not being 24hrs since her disappearance so,I went looking myself, knocking on doors,calling any and everybody I could. A day I'll  never forget.This is why I stand with activist Dominique Calhoun and coalition of organizations to have this bill passed in honor of my daughter and for all other people of NY who are in immediate danger. It’s necessary so no parent would ever feel the pain i feel every waking moment of my life. I Know this won't  bring my child back, but it'll save someone  else from having to deal with a life time of heartache, and pain, and I could find some sort of comfort in knowing Tiara's death was not in vain.”
Patricia Davis (Tiara Lott’s Mother)

On Monday June 14, 2021 a letter was written to Senator Timothy Kennedy requesting for him to submit an application on behalf of WNY for Ashanti’s Law. It is an adult alert for people ages 18-65 who are in immediate danger. Community Activist Dominique Calhoun and four supporting organizations held a press conference in front of Senator Kennedy’s office. He did not attend or send a representative. Lovejoy Councilman Bryan Bollman was also asked to attend as that is the area Tiara was found murdered in. It has been 11 days with no response from the Senator's office to the letter that was faxed and emailed. Also the calls that were being made and messages left. 

The family, organizations, and community has been disappointed in our elected officials and the media coverage surrounding this law that could save lives like Tiara Lott. WGRZ - Channel 2, Buffalo ran a story about Ashanti’s Law being passed in December 2018. When asked to cover the press conference about implementing it in the honor of Tiara Lott here in WNY on Friday June 18, 2021, they did not send anyone to cover the update about the law.

Tiara Lott went missing in legislative district 1 and was found murdered in legislative district 1. The current legislator Howard Johnson never reached out to the family while she was missing, or when she was found. The day she was found murdered the entire community asked, “Why wasn’t an alert sent out?” Only to be told it was because she was over 18. Although the community hurt and wanted an adult alert, Howard Johnson the legislator and chair of the public safety committee never researched to see that this law had been passed June 2020. On February 14, 2021 the day after Tiara Lott’s body was found an Amber Alert went out for a 17 year old girl from the surrounding suburbs of Tonawanda. This girl was able to be found within 24 hours of the alert being sent out. This devastated the community. 

We should not have to beg for an application to be sent in for funding. We should not be ignored by not only the Councilman in the Lovejoy district, the Legislator of district 1 and the Senator on this matter. When its black and brown women and children going missing or in need of immediate help the response is not the same. When it is our children the support does not exist. When it is our children elected officials or the media don’t show up the same. Since they don’t care we have to care. Please sign the petition to be sent to Governor Cuomo and other NYS Senators besides Timothy Kennedy who believe in the urgency of getting this law funded here in New York State.

Andre Wigham the man believed to have murdered Tiara Lott is still at large with an award from Crime Stoppers for $2,500. There is currently an additional $7,500 award from Crime Stoppers leading to any information in capturing Tiara Lott’s killer. If an alert was in place it would have been important in either saving Tiara’s life or capturing her killer sooner.  

Below is the letter that was sent to Senator Kennedy. I am writing in hopes that maybe you can assist us in bringing Ashantis law to NYS. 

June 14, 2021
Senator Timothy Kennedy
37 Franklin St. #550
Buffalo NY 14202

I am writing on behalf of members in the community regarding Ashanti’s Act which was a national law that was passed by the Senate June 2020, in the name of 19-year-old Ashanti Billie who disappeared from a Virginia Beach military base and was found murdered weeks later.

​It is an Amber alert style system that would notify the public when an adult aged 18 to 65 goes missing. The program notifies local, state and regional police to alerts for adults that fit the criteria established. It is up to each individual state to apply for funding for law enforcement training and alert support. I sent inquires to the Department of Justice, FBI Missing Persons, and the NYS Clearing House. Through my research I found New York State has not applied.

We are urging Senator Kenney to submit a request for funding for NYS for this alert. It can be used in all of NY but especially here in WNY where we have residents who could have benefited recently from this alert. Tiara Lott was also a 22-year-old young woman went missing January 2021 here in Buffalo, NY. She sent text messages to her family asking for help. Since she was over the age of 18 an alert could not go out and she was found brutally murdered weeks later.

My community group called the Coalition of Concerned Citizens will be holding a press conference Friday June 18, 2021 at 2:00pm with organizations and mothers who work with families of homicides and domestic violence. We would like to bring awareness around this alert and urge it be implemented. We also would like to bring awareness to the current child/college student alerts that are already in place and how many times they are not put into effect when the person meets the criteria. We need consistency when it comes to the alerts. When a person fits the criteria on the check list, IF an alert is deployed should not be left up to discretion when it comes to saving lives.

We are asking Senator Kennedy to stand with the community in applying for Ashanti’s Alert in WNY. 

Thank you, 

Dominique Calhoun
Community Advocate
Coalition of Concerned Citizens

Bury The Violence Kareema Morris (CEO)
Hope Program Inc. Organization- Hope Isom (CEO)
She Rose WNY- Tamieka Maclin (CEO)
WNY Peace Center- Racial Justice Task Force 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!