California to launch first-in-nation Ebony Alert for missing Black youth

Sacramento, California - California will create the nation's first Ebony Alert to find missing Black youth and women.

California state Senator Steven Bradford's bill to create an Ebony Alert has been signed into law.
California state Senator Steven Bradford's bill to create an Ebony Alert has been signed into law.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed Senate Bill 673 into law, authorizing the creation of a special alert program designed to address the crisis of missing Black youth, ages 12 to 25.

The system, which is similar to the Amber Alert, will enable the California Highway Patrol, at the direction of law enforcement, to activate electronic highway signs and encourage use of radio, television, and social media to broadcast missing persons notices.

"Data shows that Black and brown, our Indigenous brothers and sisters, when they go missing there’s very rarely the type of media attention, let alone AMBER alerts and police resources that we see with our white counterparts," state Senator Steven Bradford, lead sponsor of the bill, told NBC earlier this year.

Trump woos gun lobby at weekend NRA gathering: "Democrats want to take their guns away"
Donald Trump Trump woos gun lobby at weekend NRA gathering: "Democrats want to take their guns away"

"We feel it’s well beyond time that we dedicate something specifically to help bring these young women and girls back home because they’re missed and loved just as much as their counterparts are," he said.

The National Crime Information Center found that 141,000 Black minors went missing in 2022, while almost 16,500 Black women over 21 went missing. These cases are statistically less likely to be broadcast in the media and remain open longer on average than cases involving white people.

California's new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

More on Black Lives Matter: