Dig this: the New York Civil Liberties Union (part of the ACLU) has developed a new smartphone app called “Stop and Frisk Watch,” which will empower smartphone users in New York ”to hold the NYPD accountable for unlawful, abusive street stops and other misconduct.”
Along with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent call to decriminalize marijuana to reduce the number of stop and frisk stops (which was backed by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg), this app should help keep the fuzz in line.
Available in English and Spanish for Android phones (coming to iPhones this summer), the device “allows bystanders to document stop-and-frisk encounters and alert community members when a street stop is in progress,” according to the ACLU. “Users can film a police encounter with audio by pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame. When filming stops, the user immediately receives a brief survey allowing them to provide details about the incident. The video and survey is sent to the NYCLU.”
The “Listen” function allows users who have triggered the app to know when and where a police stop and frisk is occurring. “It’s especially useful for community groups that monitor police activity,” as the ACLU states. The “Report” function allows users to report a stop and frisk even if they were not present. The app also includes a “Know Your Rights” section that informs users on their rights when stopped by police officers.
Rather interesting, is it not, that in this age of surveillance, we can surveil the watchmen right back?