Smart phone app for taping police now available | News

Smart phone app for taping police now available

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Police accountability, and how best to ensure fairness and transparency from our most scrutinized civil servants, is a hot topic these days.

Entering the fray, the ACLU of N.C. has released a free smart phone application which will allow users to record videos of police interactions and submit those videos to the ACLU if they believe police are acting inappropriately or violating someone's civil rights.

The app, Mobile Justice NC, will transmit videos to the organization and preserve those tapes even if the user's phone is seized or destroyed, the ACLU said. It can be downloaded through Apple's App Store or Google Play.

"Our office receives hundreds of calls each year from people describing bad encounters with the police," said ACLU staff attorney Carolyna Caicedo Manrique in a statement. "This tool gives North Carolinians the ability to serve as a check on police abuse when they believe it is occurring, allowing users to record and document any interaction with law enforcement."

Mobile Justice NC also includes a "witness" function, which sends out an alert to anyone with the app during a police encounter. The alert includes the location, giving witnesses the chance to document the interaction with police. It also includes a "know your rights" function with an overview of your rights when stopped by police.

The ACLU is urging anyone who wishes to use the app during an interaction with police to announce that they are reaching for their phone to avoid any confusion. Mobile Justice NC is available in English and Spanish.

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