Sen. Steve Bradford: “New Ebony Alert System Is Working”

March 15, 2024


By Tanu Henry, Antonio Ray Harvey and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media

The Ebony Alert, a statewide system that has been implemented to notify the public — and signal the launch of police investigation – when Black children and young Black women go missing in California is working, says Sen. Steve Bradford.

Bradford authored Senate Bill (SB) 627, the bill that created the Ebony Alert. Gov. Newsom signed it into law on Oct. 8, 2023.

“One Ebony Alert was issued on Jan. 4, and then later they found the young lady who was missing from (the city) of Long Beach,” Bradford told California Black Media (CBM).

Bradford added that a 19-year-old Black Los Angeles woman was found on Feb. 20 after the alert system was used.

The Ebony Alert is activated if a law enforcement agency decides that it would help in the investigation of a missing Black youth or a young Black woman between the ages of 12 and 25 years.

On behalf of the Los Angeles County Police Department, an Ebony Alert was turned on Feb. 16, to locate a missing 14-year-old who was last seen on Jan.5. The 5-foot-4 woman was last seen West 102nd Street and Figueroa Street in Los Angeles and still has not been located at the time of this report.

On March 5, an alert was released regarding a 22-year-old Black woman from San Mateo County. She was last seen Feb. 16 in East Palo Alto, according to a post on X by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The East Palo Alto Police Department is the investigating agency that requested the alert.

“This new emergency alert, focused on missing Black youth and young women, marks a significant step in dedicating resources towards a previously underserved community,” CHP posted on its Facebook page on Jan. 8.

In 2023, Los Angeles had the most missing persons reports at 10,039, according to California Department of Justice data, followed by San Diego (3,993), San Bernardino (2,833), Sacramento (2,788) Nevada (2,490), and Riverside (2,357) counties. Alameda (1,834), San Francisco (1,743), and Santa Clara (1,515) counties were reported to have the highest number of missing persons among the 58 jurisdictions in the state.

Bradford said he is pleased that law enforcement agencies are using the Ebony Alert early on and will continue to implement it going forward.

“It lets us know that law enforcement has educated themselves and made themselves aware that this tool is available,” Bradford told CBM. “All folks want them to do is utilize it. There’s not really a learning curve. It’s simple: there’s a missing child or Black woman missing. Send out the alert.”

March 15, 2024