Police killed 984 people with firearms last year, which is more than double the average number reported annually by the FBI. Adjusted for population, a disproportionate number of those people were young black men, and in many cases the policemen who killed them were never charged, or were charged and acquitted. Although many cities are calling for police reform, for software developer and Intercept editor Josh Begley, change wasn't coming fast enough.
On Wednesday Begley announced the release of his new app, Archives + Absences, which sends users a notification every time someone is killed by police. According to the Daily Dot, the app sends push notifications with the name of the person killed. If users click on the notification, they'll see a map with a pin where the incident took place; all data comes from The Guardian.
Begley has a history of using technology to highlight hard truths. He's also responsible for the website Officer Involved, which is a grid of hundreds of aerial images that show exactly where someone was killed by police—one need only click on an image to see the victim's name and the city and state in which they were killed. Begley also operates @Dronestream, a Twitter feed that publicizes United States drone strikes abroad. He launched an app that sent users push notifications with each new drone strike, but Apple removed the app for "excessively crude or objectionable content." Archives + Absences is available for free in the app store for as long as Apple allows its existence.