California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a controversial bill into law that puts the focus on missing Black children and young adults.
The new “Ebony Alert” law differs from an Amber Alert because it focuses on missing Black children and young adults.
State Sen. Steven Bradford, who is Black, introduced the legislation that Newsom signed.
Bradford said missing Black kids and young adults have been disproportionately represented.
“African Americans, whether they are children or young adults, are often listed as runaways,” said Bradford, who represents Gardena, CA.
However, some Californians say the Amber Alert should focus on missing children of all races, and that a separate Ebony Alert is not necessary.
Critics say the new Ebony Alert allows racists to dismiss the alert when a Black child is missing.
“You see the difference of when white girls go missing, and Black girls go missing,” said Voice of the Youth founder Berry Accius. “The sense of urgency is not there.”
Ebony Alerts will be displayed on roadside signage and electronic messages beginning on Jan. 1, 2024.