Anyone who has been on the wrong side of law enforcement in the past probably has an awareness, if not a fear, of encountering police in the future. Many criminal suspects in New York City have their civil rights violated, and it’s often up to them to prove that they were mistreated by the police.
However, with the wonders of modern technology, there’s a new app that can help protect New Yorkers from law enforcement, particularly from abusive stop-and-frisk tactics. The app, called Stop and Frisk Watch, is free and is available for both Android phones and iPhones. It was released by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The app has three primary functions, to record the police, to listen, and to report a police interaction. The recording function allows users to film a police encounter with audio, and they then must provide details about the incident. The video and report are then sent to the NYCLU. The listening function alerts users when someone in their neighborhood is being stopped by the police, which can be helpful for any groups that monitor police activity. The report function allows users to report a police interaction they saw or experienced, even if it wasn’t filmed.
The app can be valuable for New York residents who are fearful of being mistreated by the police. According to the NYPD’s own statistics, hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers are stopped and frisked each year. Almost 90 percent of them are black or Latino.
The NYCLU reports that the app has generated hundreds of videos of police incidents, as well as over 1,000 written reports. This information is being used to help rally support for changing the NYPD’s stop and frisk tactics.