New York Organization Introduces Stop and Frisk App

subpic3For individuals concerned with police infringement of civil liberties, there is now a cell phone application that allows them to record and report instances of potential police profiling and misconduct. The new app has ignited debate between the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) that designed the application and the New York Police Department, which believes the app potentially puts information into the wrong hands. In the first week of availability, 75,000 people downloaded the NYCLU’s app.

How the Stop and Frisk App Works

The app allows users to video-record stop and frisk searches they witness on city streets and download them to the NYCLU’s website. The app also prompts users to answer a questionnaire about what they witnessed, including the race and gender of the police officers conducting the stop and frisk and whether or not force was used to conduct the search.

The app also allows users to listen in on other simultaneously recorded stop and frisks in the area and see nearby users. This makes the app a useful tool for community groups that would like to see a reduction in cont roversial stop and frisk searches.

New Stop and Frisk App Provokes Debate

A stop and frisk search is defined as a brief, non-intrusive stop of a suspect whom police have reasonable suspicion to search. Police claim these types of searches help them reduce crime and the public has nothing to fear from stop and frisks if they are obeying the law. They also worry criminals would use the app to monitor where police are located to ensure they will not be caught breaking the law.

However, opponents of stop and frisks believe the stops unnecessarily violate the privacy of citizens and target young black men disproportionately. They also claim the searches provide a ripe environment for police misconduct. They argue the app will help the public monitor police and eventually prevent police misconduct and racial profiling. The app will provide video evidence of police conduct in stop and frisk searches, helpful in a criminal trial.

If you or a loved one has been stopped and frisked by police and you believe the police used excessive force or acted unprofessionally, you may have options for holding the officers accountable. You should speak with an experienced New York City police brutality lawyer who has a strong record of standing up people’s rights to review your options.