In an effort to bring more citizen oversight to the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, the New York Civil Liberties Union has brought its innovative Stop and Frisk Watch mobile app to the iPhone.
Using the app, New Yorkers can take video recordings of any stop they witness (not when they’re being stopped themselves–relax, NYP), then log details about the incident, like the location or a description of the stopped person . When they’re finished, the information is automatically sent to the NYCLU.
“We review every submission and then, depending on what’s shown, we consider a variety of tactics for relevant videos: discussions with the police department, public education, advocacy, lobbying on up through even litigation,” NYCLU communications director Jennifer Carnig told ANIMAL. “Every circumstance is different but we will use every option available to us.”
Stop and Frisk Watch, available free in the App Store as of today, was released for Android devices in June, at which point ANIMAL gave an extensive run-down of its features and functionality. In addition to the primary record-and-send feature, the app also allows users to send stop reports without recording video, and “listen” for any other stops being reported in their area. Finally, there’s a “Know Your Rights” tab, which informs New Yorkers exactly what to do if they find themselves being stopped, or if they’re filming police activity.
“Stop and Frisk Watch empowers New Yorkers to confront abusive, discriminatory policing,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman in a statement. “The NYPD’s own data shows that the overwhelming majority of people subjected to stop-and-frisk are black or Latino, and innocent of any wrongdoing. Our smart phone app allows individuals and community groups to document in real time how each unjustified stop further corrodes trust between communities and law enforcement.”
(Photo: Alan Greig/Flickr)