Sunday, September 14, 2014

Protect Yourself and Others - ACLU-NJ Police Tape and Stop and Frisk Watch - Free app 'discreetly' records cops, reports to ACLU

ACLU-NJ Police Tape and Stop and Frisk Watch - 
Free app 'discreetly' records cops, reports to ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has released an Android app designed for people who want to record police activity, as a form of protection. It is called Police Tape, found here> and this free app allows the user to record video and audio. The app disappears from the phone's screen when the recording begins. It can also send a copy of the recording to the ACLU in New Jersey. I recommend this for everyone, not just residents of New Jersey. Several courts have affirmed the right of citizens to record police actions. Earlier this year the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice affirmed the constitutional rights of citizens to record the police in public. So, this is a useful app that everyone should get for their phone.

Police and citizens now realize how helpful video recorded from mobile phones can be for investigations into claims of police misconduct, particularly during protests and arrests. Police have been known to seize mobile devices illegally when used to record altercations and even arrest citizens' recording their actions. This is a clear violation of citizens rights. Essentially, this app can be used to protect yourself and also protect officers who might be falsely accused of misconduct. It's a tool that works both ways and should be seen that way.

There's a similar app called Stop and Frisk Watch app for Android released by the New York Civil Liberties Union. It stops recording when the device is shaken and alerts people when other app users are in the area and recording police activity. Both apps also provide legal information about citizens' rights when dealing with police. It's a free app found here>

"This app provides an essential tool for police accountability" - "Too often incidents of serious misconduct go unreported because citizens don't feel that they will be believed. Here, the technology empowers citizens to place a check on police power directly." - ACLU-NJ Executive Director Deborah Jacobs

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