Citizens can now help enforce police brutality laws thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).? The ACLU has launched a new initiative based on the growing number of police brutality incidents being captured on smart phones. This new initiative is called “Mobile Justice” and the app is available for both Android and?iOS.
The premise behind this application is simple. If you see an incident, or are involved in an incident where a police officer is violating civil rights, you can use this app to start recording, and as soon as the recording is stopped for any reason, then video is uploaded to the ACLU chapter you’ve downloaded. So far those chapters include: California, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, and Mississippi.
This is from the ACLU Missouri page on how the app works:
- Record– allows citizens to capture exchanges between police officers and themselves or other community members in audio and video files that are automatically emailed to the ACLU of Missouri.
- Witness– gives citizens the option to alert nearby Mobile Justice App users when they are stopped by police?so that they can move toward the location and document the interaction.
- Report– gives citizens the option to provide a more-detailed account of their interactions with police in an incident report, which will be transmitted directly to the ACLU of Missouri.
- Know Your Rights– provides an overview of what rights protect Missourians when they are stopped by law enforcement officers.
There are also a few warnings to keep in mind. Here’s more information from the ACLU Missouri page:
When interacting with law enforcement, exercise caution when attempting to use the app to document your exchange. Your safety depends on your ability to clearly communicate your actions and to remain calm.
- Announce that you are reaching for your phone.
- Announce that you are attempting to access the app to record the exchange.
- If the officer forbids or prevents you from doing so, do not argue or resist. Follow the officer’s instructions. If your rights have been violated, your attorney will argue your case later.
- If the officer attempts to touch your screen in an effort to destroy the evidence you’ve captured, don’t worry. The moment the recording is stopped it will automatically be sent to the ACLU of Missouri.
I’m sure that other ACLU chapters are working to develop this software for more states in the future. But this is a great start for those citizens who want to feel protected against unlawful police actions. Our police brutality laws are real and we should fight to protect and enforce them. Here are some videos about the app.