With the nature of the New York Police Department’s controversial Stop, Question and Frisk measures being called into question, many have wondered how to best address the policy. Doing their part to help protect people’s rights, the New York Civil Liberties Union threw on their cape and swooped in to the rescue, or assist, anyway.
Their new iPhone app, demonstrated on camera by actual NYPD officers, is billed as a “convenient way to hold the NYPD accountable for their actions,” as it’s able to document stops and alert the NYCLU with audio or footage. Along with its three primary functions of “Record,” “Listen” and “Report” (outlined in detail at the NYCLU’s page), the app features a “Know Your Rights” section which informs people on the legal dos and don’ts of handling a police stop. Says the organization’s Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:
“While we’ve yet to see a ‘Rodney King’ moment, Stop and Frisk Watch submissions have confirmed a number of concerns the NYCLU has about stop-and-frisk abuse and has provided New Yorkers with a powerful tool to document police abuse. We’re proud that the app is used every day in New York City and that the attention it has received has encouraged people to document and expose police activity with their smart phones.”
We’d imagine the app will be especially welcomed among those who fall under the 87% of all stops category, though it’s open to anyone with the right phone. Android owners have been recording their encounters since June, and now iOS users can join in by downloading “Stop and Frisk Watch.”