Yesha Callahan

The Stop & Frisk App By The New York Civil Liberties Union

The Stop & Frisk App By The New York Civil Liberties Union Over the last couple of years, stop-and-frisk has become an increasing concern for black and brown New Yorkers.  Most recently the U.S. Justice Department asked a federal judge to appoint an independent monitor to oversee the New York Police Department if she rules the department’s stop-and-frisk policy is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin presided at a 10-week civil trial over the New York police practice of stopping people suspected of unlawful activity and frisking those suspected of carrying weapons. Critics of the policy say it targets minorities and violates their Fourth Amendment rights for protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In response to the stop-and-frisk practices of the NYPD, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) recently decided to take new media action against the practice with the new stop-and-frisk app.  The app is currently available for Android and Apple devices and allows bystanders to fully document stop-and-frisk encounters and alert community members when a street stop is in progress.

According to the NYCLU the app has three primary functions:

  • RECORD: This allows the user to film an incident with audio by simply pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame. Shaking the phone stops the filming. When filming stops, the user immediately receives a brief survey allowing them to provide details about the incident. The video and survey will go to the NYCLU, which will use the information to shed light on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices and hold the Department accountable for its actions.
  • LISTEN: This function alerts the user when people in their vicinity are being stopped by the police. When other app users in the area trigger Stop and Frisk Watch, the user receives a message reporting where the police stop is happening. This feature is especially useful for community groups who monitor police activity.
  • REPORT: This prompts the survey, allowing users to report a police interaction they saw or experienced, even if they didn’t film it.

The app includes a “Know Your Rights” section that instructs people about their rights when confronted by police and their right to film police activity in public. The NYCLU also wants to point out that the app is intended for use by people witnessing a police encounter, not by individuals who are the subject of a police stop.

The app is currently available in the iTunes market and the Google Play market.

  1. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    This is a sensitive situation because while our Police Commissioner is now the second coming of Giuliani with his comments regarding S&F, the people who DO NOT live in the areas with a lot of issues (B’Ville, ENY, E.Flatbush, Hollis, Kingsbridge, etc) can easily say its wrong and etc, but growing up in the Stuy and living in ENY, I feel more likely to be shot by one of my own just being in the neighborhood than I do in Bay Ridge or Greenpoint. My thing is if it’s stopped entirely, crime goes back up, but if it’s enforced, its blatant and goes against profiling and crime can simmer down. The app will help, but will also help continue to divide the already hefty distance between NYC residents and the NYPD.

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply

      @Chuck Holliday

      Ever notice when white people start moving into predominately black, crime ridden neighborhoods, crime declines rapidly?

      When a NYC neighborhood is ripe for gentrification and rent prices increase, all of a sudden local precincts know how to do their jobs properly. There are cops patrolling in squad cars as well as on foot… all of a sudden streets you once damn near sprinted through to get home without any incidents are safe enough to slowly skateboard through while listening to your ipod and carrying a MacBook Pro in your satchel nonchalantly.

      Black neighborhoods have crime rates because of criminals + lack of police interference… In the correct way! Stop and Frisk isn’t the cause of declining crime rates, politics and money are at the root. When they get the go ahead from local politicians, developers and landlords, they clean up the streets in record timing.

  2. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    I don’t like when Ppl use crime as a reason to NOT protect the rights of ALL! Black/Brown Ppl have the right to EXIST!! Whether they’re going to the bodega or going to/from work. The police do NOT have a right to racially profile an entire damn grp of ppl! Do the same % of S&F in white neighborhoods & see what happens!! OH?! It doesn’t happen at all & THAT is the problem! I live in the 47th precinct & I watch the boys who go to school treated the same as the boys who smoke weed in the courtyards & streets of my neighborhood. THAT is a PROBLEM~ There is no such thing as community outreach with NYPD, which is why I NEVER joined the force. I will not co-sign on violating the rights of my ppl! NOPE won’t do it!

  3. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    I hope people utilize this app. I will definitely spread the word.

  4. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    Video showing Raymond Kelly’s police assaulting Christina Gonzalez, Zuccotti Veteran & current NYC Council Candidate, 7th District.

    Youtube: “You Stole The Wrong SD Card”

    She has the right to film. The checkpoints of the sort in the footage were ruled illegal by the court in ’02.

Leave a Reply to Whatever Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: