California’s Race-Based Amber Alert System Is Crazy, and Possibly Unconstitutional


by Leslie Eastman at

The trouble with covering California is that there is so much crazy coming from Sacramento, it is like one of our dams.

There are hundreds of potential items of poor policy and ridiculous rule-making leaking from the state capital that is flooded with unintended consequences and richly deserved mockery.

Take, for example, what happened last October when California created the “Ebony Alert” system, an analog of the AMBER Alert system used to locate missing children, on Sunday. The system prioritizes recovering missing black children who do not qualify for an AMBER Alert. As we noted at the time:

“The AMBER Alert system must fulfill strict criteria for the message to be broadcast,” according to the enacting legislation’s factual findings. “If these criteria are not met, an AMBER Alert cannot be issued, and the child is labeled as a runaway.”

Missing children classified as “runaways” are not eligible for an AMBER Alert.

In other words, some children are getting prioritized based solely on their race. Attention to this new law came last week when the California Highway Patrol issued an “Ebony Alert” that has received 35 million X-views.

Now there is increasing scrutiny on the implementation of the law. Attorney Aaron Walker took a look at the state law and asserts that it is unconstitutional