Ima, Caleb, Asha and Joshua Christian (ages 16, 14, 15 and 10, respectively) have responded to nationwide police brutality, the shooting of Michael Brown and the protests in Ferguson in a way that is more pragmatic than most authority figures. The siblings, who say they frequently discuss issues of law enforcement and media bias with their parents, have created an Android app called Five-O which allows users to rate interactions with the police on a variety of topics.
“We talk to our parents often about these issues and they really try to put things into context for us,” Christian told Fast Company. “In doing so, one of the things they really stress is to focus on finding solutions. My brother Caleb thought we should create an app.”
After any interaction, someone can answer questions like “Was the stop legitimate?” and “Were you physically assaulted?” and give the officer a grade from A to F. App users can also view scores for a particular department, or browse through departments by county or state.
If an interaction was positive, that can be recorded too. “We definitely want their to be a balance on our app,” says Christian. “Law enforcement agencies with positive reviews can help by functioning as role models to agencies with negative reports and reviews.”
The teens have been working on this project for six months, but agreed that after the events in Ferguson “the time was right” to share it with the world. They plan to continue development on the app to improve it as its user base grows. “We’re just in beta testing right now,” Asha said. Five-O is available in the Google Play store now. (Photo: Sean MacEntee)