ACLU launches iOS app to record law enforcement encounters

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
Looking to reduce "over-policing" and surface instances of excessive force, the American Civil Liberties Union of California on Thursday launched a smartphone app that lets users securely document law enforcement encounters.




The app, called Mobile Justice CA, uses Apple's powerful iPhone platform to securely track law enforcement misconduct, according to the ACLU.

Available to residents of California, Mobile Justice CA records video like any other camera app, but instead of saving the file locally, it automatically uploads the data to an ACLU affiliate for review. This added step is designed to protect against accidental or purposeful device breakage or confiscation resulting from the recorded incident.

In addition to chronicling potential civil rights violations, the app sends out a geotagged alert to nearby Mobile Justice CA users, warning them of the situation. The app also features access to the ACLU's "Know Your Rights" material and information about upcoming events.

The app's release comes amidst a firestorm of public unrest fueled by a recent rash of deadly police confrontations with black suspects.

Mobile Justice CA is available as a free 11.8MB download from the iOS App Store. As noted by Engadget, similar apps are also operational in Oregon, Missouri and New York.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    This is a problem technology CAN solve. Well, help a lot anyway. Body cameras are an example. This is another!
  • Reply 2 of 55
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    You are delusional... When trust is no longer present, the basis for sentient civilizations is in jeapordy. Living in the world that this technology creates will not be a world worth living in. This will erode freedom. This is a certainty.
  • Reply 3 of 55
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Supervision is often quite useful.

    I would hope positive acts by law enforcement members would be similarly documented.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    @ blazer
    TRUST .....but Verify
  • Reply 5 of 55
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I've always dram of an app that recorded police while uploading to a server.

    The problem with recording police is that half the time they try to take the camera away and confiscate it or break it.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    danoxdanox Posts: 382member

    The government trust doesn't you and records you, you as a citizen should be able to record in return, turnabout is fairPlay as a TAXPAYER.

  • Reply 7 of 55
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Excellent.
  • Reply 8 of 55
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,988member

    This is sad app that plays into the divisive bias being promoted by the media and special interest groups who benefit from the perpetuation of fear and chaos. 

     

    Law enforcement, like the military, is overwhelming staffed by fellow citizens (yes, they are really one of us) who have decided to take on thankless jobs that few others have the physical or mental fortitude to take at the level of risk vs. reward involved. Are there bad apples in the ranks, hell yeah, just like there are in any profession. This whole premise for this app is just feeding the media induced fear mongering that is painting an entire class of professionals with a broad, ugly brush when the bad ones actually represent a very tiny minority of the total rank and file of law enforcement professionals. When has this type of unreasonable and prejudicial classification system ever been justified? 

     

    I have no problem with the app itself. I can see where it is very useful to have an app like this to record anything that requires instant streaming to an off-board data collection system. But to frame it up in the way it's being done here is very self serving and divisive, just the kind of thing that keeps organizations who profit from such behavior at the center of public attention.

     

    If people really care deeply about this and want to take it upon themselves to personally influence the behavior of organizations like law enforcement they should try to do it from the inside. I can't think of any job in any profession or vocation, or at any level, where outsiders who think they know how to do the job better than the people who are actually doing the job are justified in their thinking. Until you strap on the shoes you're just an outsider with an opinion. There's no app that replaces experience and living the reality of life.

  • Reply 9 of 55
    Wonder why there is no version for Illinois? One of the states which needs it the most, i.e. lots of issues...
  • Reply 10 of 55

    What exactly does the app's icon depict?  Aside from the "beaming", that is.

     

    No offense intended (really!), but a silhouette of one of these is the first thing that came to mind...

     

     

    (Yes, I know it's wrong, on so many levels.  Someone set me straight.)

  • Reply 11 of 55
    dmdevdmdev Posts: 31member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

     

    What exactly does the app's icon depict?  Aside from the "beaming", that is.

     

    No offense intended (really!), but a silhouette of one of these is the first thing that came to mind...

     

     

    (Yes, I know it's wrong, on so many levels.  Someone set me straight.)




    Looks like the hand of the Statue of Liberty to me, with WiFi radio waves emitting from it ;)

  • Reply 12 of 55
    How is taking a paid government job with full benefits and retirement thankless?
    This app should help clear honest cops, I only see good coming from it.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    plovellplovell Posts: 795member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Danox View Post

     

    The government trust doesn't you and records you, you as a citizen should be able to record in return, turnabout is fairPlay as a TAXPAYER.




    Your rights don't come from you being a taxpayer.

     

    They come from you being a person subject to the Constitution, and typically, but not necessarily, a Citizen.

     

    Know your rights ! And know whence they come !!  (it isn't from paying taxes)

  • Reply 14 of 55
    dewme wrote: »
    This is sad app that plays into the divisive bias being promoted by the media and special interest groups who benefit from the perpetuation of fear and chaos. 

    What you wrote is so true. People in fear and anger look at police and see something others don't see. However, the police also see people from their own perspective. If black leaders rode along with the police and developed a dialog and saw and heard what the police experience...and then use this phone app to record what went down, it would go a long way toward developing a common ground of restraint and understanding.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    plovell wrote: »
    danox wrote: »
     
    The government trust doesn't you and records you, you as a citizen should be able to record in return, turnabout is fairPlay as a TAXPAYER.


    Your rights don't come from you being a taxpayer.

    They come from you being a person subject to the Constitution, and typically, but not necessarily, a Citizen.

    Know your rights ! And know when they come !!  (it isn't from paying taxes)

    If it's all the same to you, I hereby give up my right to pay taxes....
  • Reply 16 of 55
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,228member
    If it's all the same to you, I hereby give up my right to pay taxes....

    You missed the part about knowing the US Constitution.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    cali wrote: »
    I've always dram of an app that recorded police while uploading to a server.

    The problem with recording police is that half the time they try to take the camera away and confiscate it or break it.

    They will do that anyway. If this can upload to secure servers before they get a chance to steal and unlock your phone then it's a way of countering their behaviour.

    This is bloody awesome.

    F#^k the police!
  • Reply 18 of 55
    Can I use the app to document citizen law-breakers and then submit the video to the authorities to get the thugs and criminals thrown in jail...even when they're black?
  • Reply 19 of 55
    nkingmannkingman Posts: 44member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by k2director View Post



    Can I use the app to document citizen law-breakers and then submit the video to the authorities to get the thugs and criminals thrown in jail...even when they're black?



    You don't need an app to do that.

  • Reply 20 of 55
    nkingmannkingman Posts: 44member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post

     

    This whole premise for this app is just feeding the media induced fear mongering that is painting an entire class of professionals with a broad, ugly brush when the bad ones actually represent a very tiny minority of the total rank and file of law enforcement professionals. When has this type of unreasonable and prejudicial classification system ever been justified? 

     

    I can't think of any job in any profession or vocation, or at any level, where outsiders who think they know how to do the job better than the people who are actually doing the job are justified in their thinking. Until you strap on the shoes you're just an outsider with an opinion. There's no app that replaces experience and living the reality of life.


    Same can be said about the police judging an entire class of citizens based on a few bad ones, without justification. Yet they get away with it all the time.

     

    No one is saying they can do a better job than the police, they simply want the bad cops to be held accountable for their crimes.

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