Chaffin Luhana’s “Nalani Johnson” Amendment to Amber Alerts Is Introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature
On February 18, 2020, twenty-one Democratic and Republican Co-Sponsors introduced H.B. 2295 in the Pennsylvania Legislature. The bill was drafted by Chaffin Luhana attorneys. It would amend the PA AMBER Alert to allow law enforcement to issue immediate AMBER Alerts where parents or close family members report abductions of children under 13 years of age. The bill is named after Nalani Johnson who was abducted and killed when an AMBER Alert for her was delayed for hours even though her abduction was immediately reported to the police.
Nalani Johnson of Pittsburgh, PA, was much like any other toddler. She was just starting out in life, often wore her hair in two pigtails, looked great in pink, and had a grandmother and family who adored her. But on August 31, 2019, she was abducted in the Penn Hills area of Pittsburgh, PA despite her father immediately calling 911, it took hours for the AMBER Alert to issue. By then, it was too late. Nalani’s abductor had killed her and abandoned her body in an adjacent county.
Chaffin Luhana represents Taji Walsh, Nalani’s grandmother, pro bono, for the sole purpose of changing the law to protect children. We believe this tragedy could have been avoided if the public had been alerted sooner. The AMBER Alert amendment, also known as the “Nalani Johnson Rule” was introduced by Pennsylvania Representative Anthony DeLuca. We have started a petition to garner further public support for the bill.