Arizona: ACLU Releases Mobile App To Help Hold Law Enforcement Accountable
Mobile Justice AZ available free starting today through Apple and Google
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on Friday launched Mobile Justice AZ, a free smartphone app that allows Arizonans to record video of law enforcement activity and automatically submit those videos to their local ACLU for review if it appears someone’s rights may have been violated.
The same app is also being launched today in nine other jurisdictions: Minnesota, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Mobile Justice App is already in use in Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, California, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina and Oregon.
New York has the ACLU’s original app to record police, known as the Stop and Frisk app. In all, residents of 18 states and D.C. now have access to an ACLU mobile app for recording police interactions with the public.
Mobile Justice AZ is available for use on Android and iOS phones and can be downloaded free through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It enables users to record, witness and report interactions with law enforcement and offers educational information on individual rights.
Videos captured on the Mobile Justice AZ app will be transmitted to the ACLU of Arizona and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed.
“Nearly 40 people have been killed by police so far this year in Arizona and we regularly receive reports of excessive use of force by police and Border Patrol agents,” said Will Gaona, policy director of the ACLU of Arizona. “This app is intended to serve as a check on abusive behavior by police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and Border Patrol agents by allowing ordinary citizens to record and document any interaction with law enforcement.”
The functions of the app include:
• Record allows individuals to capture exchanges with police officers and other law enforcement officials in a file that is automatically sent to the ACLU of Arizona.
• Witness sends out an alert to anyone with the app, giving the location of a police encounter that is being documented by another app user.
• Report allows the user to complete a written incident report and send it directly to the ACLU of Arizona for review.
• Know Your Rights provides an overview of what rights protect you when you are stopped by law enforcement officers.
While Mobile Justice AZ is intended for use by bystanders, the ACLU of Arizona recognizes that some users may want to use it while they are involved in a police encounter. Anyone interacting with law enforcement should announce that they are reaching for a phone, and that they are attempting to access the app to record the exchange. Users’ safety depends on their ability to clearly communicate any actions they take and remain calm.
Download Mobile Justice AZ for iOS here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1031663730
Download Mobile Justice AZ for Android here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.aclu.mobile.justice.az
Photo: Daily KOS