Monday, June 18, 2012

Want To Combat Police Misconduct And Document NYPD's "Stop And Frisk"? There's An App For That

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced “Stop and Frisk Watch,”which it describes as "a free and innovative smart phone application that will empower New Yorkers to monitor police activity and hold the NYPD accountable for unlawful stop-and-frisk encounters and other police misconduct."

Mayor Bloomberg continues to defend the stop-and-frisk policy despite serious concerns that it disproportionately targets young black men. Yesterday, as the New York Times reports, "several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march" to protest the  policy, "which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents."  

NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman explains that the “Stop and Frisk Watch is about empowering individuals and community groups to confront abusive, discriminatory policing.”
The NYPD’s own data shows that the overwhelming majority of people subjected to stop-and-frisk are black or Latino, and innocent of any wrongdoing. At a time when the Bloomberg administration vigorously defends the status quo, our app will allow people to go beyond the data to document how each unjustified stop further corrodes trust between communities and law enforcement.
Stop and Frisk Watch is available in English and Spanish on Android phones.  An iPhone version will be released later this summer. The app allows bystanders to fully document stop-and-frisk encounters and alert community members when a street stop is in progress.

According to ThinkProgress, since the app’s release last week, more than 75,000 people have downloaded it.


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