NYCLU Unveils "Stop and Frisk Watch" App
June 6th, 2012
The New York Civil Liberties Union wants citizens to document police street stops using a new smartphone app.
The NYCLU unveiled its “Stop and Frisk Watch” app earlier today in front of police headquarters.
The app, available as on the Android platform, allows witnesses of police street stops to record them and send the clip to the NYCLU. It also tracks the locations of street stops.
“It’s for bystanders,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Leiberman. “And hopefully this will help us shine some much needed light on police practices. Everybody in New York knows the numbers. But I think this will help us continue to put the human face on stop-and-frisk.”
The police did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about the app.
Critics of stop-and-frisk say the NYPD policy predominantly targets young black and Latino men. But police defend the tactic, saying it promotes public safety in the city’s communities. About 685,000 stops were made by the police last year.
Dawit Getachew, 26, an advocate for Copwatch and a Harlem resident who said he has been subjected to stop-and-frisk, was among the activists who showed up to lend their support for the app.
“There are many instances that go unreported because people don’t know what to do, so this is a huge opportunity for people to feel empowered to fight back,” he said of the app.
Steve Kohut, of Communities United for Police Reform, noted that the tool will help “see the abuse, experience the abuse and now document the abuse” so that the police can no longer deny it.
Lieberman said the NYCLU hopes the new app will “connect directly with affected communities.”
The app, designed by Jason Van Anden, also includes a survey for users who would like to report questionable NYPD action they see or experience and a “Know Your Rights Card” instructing those who are confronted by police officers about their rights.By Kamelia Kilawan on June 6, 2012, 6:38 pm
In category: Civil Rights, Crime & Safety, Gotham City | 1 Comment »