The use of amber alerts dates back twenty years. Since then, over 370 kids and people who were in danger have been found. Nonetheless, some detractors claim that the notification system frequently ignores African Americans.
(Above: Steven Bradford - D)
"There is a noticeable distinction between the disappearances of White girls and Black girls," stated Berry Accius, the Voice of the Youth founder. "There's not a feeling of urgency."
Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) of California stated, "African Americans are often listed as runaways, whether they are children or young adults."
A new bill authored by Sen. Bradford establishes Ebony Alerts for a community that is disproportionately affected by missing juveniles.
"Young African Americans account for nearly 40% of those who go missing," the speaker stated.
"It will bring about a substantial shift in our responses and reactions," Accius stated.
Many young women who disappear become victims of sex trafficking, according to Accius.
"My main concern is that a lot of our girls here in Sacramento are being exploited," he stated.
California also has Feather Alerts for missing indigenous people, Silver Alerts for missing elders and individuals with impairments, and Blue Alerts for suspects who attack a law enforcement agency in addition to Amber Alerts.
What makes an Ebony Alert unique, then?
Sen. Bradford stated, "Impinging the age from 12 to 25 because an Amber Alert is currently for 17 years or younger."
Black youth who are deemed to be at-risk or who have physical or mental disabilities are eligible.
Technology such as electronic notifications and roadside signs can also be used by Ebony Alerts.
"It's going to be a game changer and it will meet the attention, need, and urgency I feel," Accius stated.
The state Office of Emergency Services and the California Highway Patrol will now endeavor to launch the program. On January 1, 2024, the alarm system goes into operation.