An amazing new mobile phone app allows users to record and document a stop and frisk encounter, share the incident with other users, and report abusive police behavior.
Called the Stop and Frisk Watch App, the program was created by the NYCLU, with assistance from Jason Van Anden, a visual artist and software developer whose previous work includes the Occupy Wall Street app, “I’m Getting Arrested.”
Users can not only record a stop and frisk encounter; they can also listen in on a stop and frisk incident recorded by other users, and report the incident to the NYCLU.
It has three primary functions:
- RECORD: This allows the user to film an incident with audio by simply pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame. Shaking the phone stops the filming. When filming stops, the user immediately receives a brief survey allowing them to provide details about the incident. The video and survey will go to the NYCLU, which will use the information to shed light on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices and hold the Department accountable for its actions.
- LISTEN: This function alerts the user when people in their vicinity are being stopped by the police. When other app users in the area trigger Stop and Frisk Watch, the user receives a message reporting where the police stop is happening. This feature is especially useful for community groups who monitor police activity.
- REPORT: This prompts the survey, allowing users to report a police interaction they saw or experienced, even if they didn’t film it.
The app includes a “Know Your Rights” section that instructs people about their rights when confronted by police and their right to film police activity in public. Stop and Frisk Watch is intended for use by people witnessing a police encounter, not by individuals who are the subject of a police stop.
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