The streets are watching, and now they can upload everything they see to an online database thanks to three teens.
With the recent deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, police brutality has become a hot button issue this summer. Some cops (not all) are crossing some serious lines, and the public has almost been powerless to stop them until now.
Seeing the need for victim advocacy, 16 year-old Ima Christian created the Five-O app along with her brother Caleb and sister Asha (14 and 15 years old respectively), BusinessInsider.com reports.
The idea came from their frustration with how much police brutality has come to light over the last few months, including a cop from the NYPD putting a pregnant woman in a chokehold. The shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, was the last straw for them.
“We’ve been hearing about the negative instances in the news, for instance most recently the Michael Brown case, and we always talk about these issues with our parents,” Ima told Business Insider.
Instead of taking to the streets to riot in protest, the siblings channeled their feelings on the matter into something constructive and innovative. “[Our parents] always try to reinforce that we should focus on solutions,” Ima said. “It’s important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don’t we create an app to help us solve this problem.”
The Five -O mobile app allows users to record and save data from every encounter they have with the authorities. That includes whether or not a given cop got physical with a suspected offender and the reason a person was stopped. Five-O also asks users whether they were stopped for a legitimate reason, but that may be pretty subjective.
This app could also allow specific officers’ behavior to be tracked in terms of how they treat people of different races. In short, user data could help point out a pattern of discriminatory actions. Users can also share their incident reports with others and even rate individual cops (or the entire department).
Beyond that, there’s even a section on the app that lets the public know their rights in any encounter with an officer.