Justice app records and reports police encounters

A free smartphone app has been launched in the US that will allow the public to automatically record videos to report police encounters from their phone to help track and record law enforcement misconduct.

May 28, 2015
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Andy Marsh

A free smartphone app has been launched in the US that will allow the public to automatically record videos to report police encounters from their phone to help track and record law enforcement misconduct.

Developed by the civil liberties group ACLU of California, videos captured on the Mobile Justice CA app are transmitted to the ACLU and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed.

The Ella Baker Centre for Human Rights (EBC) is working with the ACLU to broaden and deepen community organisations’ and community members’ engagement with the app.

“People who historically have had very little power in the face of law enforcement now have this tool to reclaim their power and dignity,” said Patrisse Cullors, director of the Truth and Reinvestment Campaign at EBC. “Our vision is that this app will ultimately help community members connect and organise to respond to incidents of law enforcement violence, and then share their experiences and knowledge with others.”

Mobile Justice CA, which is available for use on Android and iOS phones, can be downloaded free through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It enables users to register, record, witness and report interactions with law enforcement and includes information on individual rights.

The key elements of the app are:

•Record – allows individuals to capture exchanges with police officers and other law enforcement officials in audio and video files that are automatically sent to the ACLU of California;

•Witness – sends out an alert to anyone with the app, giving them the option to go to the location and document the encounter when police stop someone;

•Report – allows the app user to complete an incident report and send it directly to the ACLU for review; and

•Know your rights – provides an overview of what rights protect the person when they are stopped by law enforcement officers.

ACLU says the ability to record video and distribute the footage on a mass scale has given citizens the power to hold law enforcement accountable.

“The concerns over police practices, including racial profiling and excessive use of force, are very real for communities across the state,”

said Hector Villagra, executive director of ACLU SoCal.

“This app will help serve as a check on abuse – whether by police officers, sheriff’s deputies, border patrol or other officials – allowing ordinary citizens to record and document any interaction with law enforcement.”

Related News

Copyright © 2022 Police Professional