Thursday, December 31, 2015

An App To Police The Cops

The Economist: How three teenagers invented an app to police the cops

The high-school students want citizens to rate their interactions with officers

THE Christian siblings were doing their homework when the police arrived. Two officers entered the house, guns drawn, pursuing what was evidently a prank tip-off about a captive being held at their address. The guns stayed out even when the mistake became apparent; they ran the details of the children’s father—who, like them, is black—through the police system on the off chance of turning something up.

The family was traumatised. The incident (in 2013) brought home to Ima Christian, now 18, that Americans could be vulnerable to rough policing “no matter where you live, or who you are”; her sister Asha, who is 16, says it is “not until you are face to face with an officer that you realise what the deal is.” The sisters—from Stone Mountain, just outside Atlanta—didn’t get even, exactly. Instead, with their brother Caleb (now 15), they developed an app, called Five-O, intended to help improve police behaviour and community relations. It lets citizens rate their experiences with officers, record both parties’ race and sex and the purpose of the interaction, and find aggregate scores for county forces.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: Police departments should embrace this .... but I suspect that many will not.

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