Apple iPhone users can now record and report Stop and Frisk abuse to the New York Civil Liberties Union with a new app.
The NYCLU's Stop and Frisk Watch app debuted on the Android market in June 2012. Since then, more than 20,000 New Yorkers have downloaded the app and have sent nearly 5,000 video files for review.
The activist group hopes the app will protect New Yorkers against injustices during routine Stop, Question and Frisk encounters. The controversial Stop and Frisk policy raises concerns about racial profiling, illegal stops and individual privacy. Year after year, the majority of the stop-and-frisk interrogations recorded target black and Latino men.
Many individuals have reported abuse. In October 2012, The Nation published a video overlaid with exclusive audio taken during a routine stop and frisk where NYPD police officers stopped and audibly violated a Harlem teenager named Alvin. Stepping out of the unmarked car, the officers stopped and questioned Alvin and, with force, threatened the teenager with an arrest, calling him a "mutt" during the incident.
The free app allows anyone to record video and audio of a stop-and-frisk incident. NYCLU is on the receiving end to review the material. The civil rights group hopes these mobile reports will keep the city officials honest and prevent injustices.
“While we’ve yet to see a ‘Rodney King’ moment, Stop and Frisk Watch submissions have confirmed a number of concerns the NYCLU has about stop-and-frisk abuse and has provided New Yorkers with a powerful tool to document police abuse,” wrote NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman, in a press release.
The iPhone and Android apps are available for download here.