Move over Doodle Jump, The New Jersey branch of the ACLU recently unveiled its own app. And it might help keep you out of a sticky situation.
The app will allow users to stealthily record audio and video on their smartphone when they get pulled over by police and automatically upload the media to the ACLU's remote servers.
Twenty years ago, the video footage of Rodney King's beating at the hands of several LAPD officers brought Los Angeles to the boiling point, but it also harkened the age (and power) of consumer video technology. Two decades later, video tech has become pocket sized, but its potential impact still prevails.
That's where the ACLU of New Jersey's new Police Tape "police accountability app" comes in. It will allow users to record audio or video from their smartphone while the screen remains dark, appearing to be off. The footage can then be automatically uploaded the the ACLU-NJ's servers, so it can't be erased by police.
See spiffy little introductory video below.
"This app provides an essential tool for police accountability," ACLU-NJ Executive Director Deborah Jacobs said in a press release. "Too often incidents of serious misconduct go unreported because citizens don't feel that they will be believed. Here, the technology empowers citizens to place a check on police power directly."
The app also has a "Know Your Rights" section, which details your rights and obligations if you are pulled over in your car or stopped on the street.
"Police often videotape civilians and civilians have a constitutionally protected right to videotape police," Alexander Shalom, ACLU NJ's policy counsel told The Star-Leger. "When people know they're being watched, they tend to behave well."
Technology in many ways is a great leveler. We've seen plenty examples of people using technology to fight corruption of the powers that be in their part of the world. These affordable, unlying eyes can be the cause of many problems, but they might also help with some solutions.
Feel like you might have a run in with a Jersey cop this summer? The app is currently only available for free from Android (Google Play Link) and is currently waiting approval from Apple to appear in The App Store.