When I was a kid my Grandmothers, Aunts, Uncles and parents used to talk about the Civil Rights Era in great detail. I always wanted to “go back” to see what it was like, do things like view Emmitt Till’s body or march with Dr King. Fast forward a few years and now my Gram is saying “it feels like Deja Vu.” I’m living in time where Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, and COUNTLESS others have lost their lives with what appears to be police discrimination.
I think the police might’ve had secret convention where they decided to systemically disregard rights of black people which includes unjust imprisonment and death. For the past couple of days I have not been able to sleep, and I begin thinking about doing a social media detox because I think seeing black people maimed and murdered each day is draining my soul.
At the same time there is an inherent part of me to find a way to give back, so here is my attempt to help people “Know Your Rights” when dealing with police. These apps can assist.
Apps for Documenting Encounters with Police
Hands Up app is a robust app that has a number of features that puts it at the top of my list. The app discreetly records videos and audio. 10 seconds after starting the recording the screen will go black, but will STILL record. It also used GPS to geotags your location. Along with the option to upload to youtube and/dropbox in the case that your phone is destroyed by police. Once the video has been updated it will send out a text notification to a pre programmed number (emergency contact).
In 2012, the ACLU released an app that allowed people to film interactions between police and citizen. This app gives you the capability to upload footage to the ACLU’s website as well. Since 2012 other apps of similar nature have popped up s with new features allowing for quick and automatic upload to the Cloud or to YouTube, in case of confiscation or destruction of your device.
There are a few other apps like “The Swat App,” “Five-O,” and “Stop and Frisk Watch” that give you the capability to report police misconduct as well as educate yourself about your rights. The “I’m Getting Arrested” app will send a text notification instantly to multiple number in the case that you are trying to “Occupy” and police are detaining you!
Using these apps, or even your camera phone, might be the only way to let your loved one know something is happening to you! Think of Walter Scott, if there was no recording the officer likely would have walked away!