• New ACLU App Auto-Uploads Video of Police Encounters

    May 15, 2015

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America

    video cops

    It comes down to things like this as citizens fight to preserve their basic rights in the face of militaristic police encounters. So let us use technology to fight back.

    A new smartphone app from the ACLU (available in iPhone and Android versions) does two very good things. It allows citizens to exercise their right to video police encounters in the public space, and it guards against the cops unlawfully destroying that video to cover up their own crimes. The ACLU app accomplishes this by allowing people to auto-upload cellphone videos of police encounters to the ACLU. The ACLU will then review and preserve the video footage, even if the cops seize the phone and delete the video or destroy the phone.

    In addition, once the video is uploaded, the user can delete the information from his/her phone, lessening the chance of retaliation by the cops if they discover the “evidence” during a post-arrest search.

    The app features a large red “Record” button in the middle of the screen. When it’s pressed, the video is recorded on the phone and a duplicate copy is transmitted simultaneously to the ACLU server. When the “stop” button is pressed, a “Report” screen appears, where information about the location of the incident and the people involved can also be transmitted to the ACLU. The video and the information are treated as a request for legal assistance and reviewed by staff members. No action is taken by the ACLU, however, unless an explicit request is made, and the reports are treated as confidential and privileged legal communications. The videos, however, may be shared by the ACLU with the news media, community organizations or the general public to help call attention to police abuse.

    The app is available in English and Spanish. It includes a “Know Your Rights” page, a library of ACLU materials in your pocket.

    “People who historically have had very little power in the face of law enforcement now have this tool to reclaim their power and dignity,” said the director of the Truth and Reinvestment Campaign at the Ella Baker Center, which is working with the ACLU of California to support the launch of the app.

    Who will guard the guards? We will.

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      Easy parry by the police. Wherever they are or appear the concept of “public space” is immediately abrogated. It is a latent or possible crime scene where no “captured images of the site in a video or audio format is allowed except by officials of the department.

      05/15/15 11:55 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      So! get that telescopic lens app for your IFone so you can shoot from “outside” the crime scene.

      05/15/15 12:25 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Peter said:
      quote”Who will guard the guards? We will.”unquote

      Indeed. This part of your daily journal of life on planet earth is indeed important. If it wasn’t ..I wouldn’t fucking be here Peter. So..let’s proceed.

      Guarding the guards. Yes. Daily. Doesn’t matter whether they are in the State Department or on the floor of the Senate or on a mountain plateau in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or on East Mainstreet of Ferguson. Just do it. You’re analysis is just fine. Thanks Peter.

      05/15/15 10:30 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Now as to what we are going to do about how we are treated by the cops once they have us in custody is another question.

      I “have people” in Baltimore. Any stories you may have read about the conditions under which the arrested protesters were held are true (and BTW, they were held illegally for 48 hours without charging documents or bail hearings, as our new fat pig of a Rep. gov, Hogan, suspended Md.’s habeas corpus laws during the “unrest”). Baltimore’s police dept. was one of those that took a turn training in Israel; guess they came back all eager to “mow the grass” and shit.

      And then there is this about the Chicago Police Dept.:

      “New allegations of sexual assault, torture, and the planting of evidence by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) have come to light as part of ongoing revelations about the department’s “black site” at Homan Square. At least 17 victims have given first-hand accounts since the existence of Chicago’s interrogation site at Homan Square was exposed by the Guardian in February.

      “According to these accounts, working-class and minority Chicagoans were held for hours and sometimes days in fetid conditions, denied access to lawyers, and physically abused or threatened until they agreed to police demands. In some instances, individuals were forced to participate in petty drug strings or supply the police with off-the-books firearms.

      “In the latest interview by the Guardian, Angel Perez described his interrogation at the CPD black site. On October 12, 2012, Perez was detained by police after he refused to buy drugs for a sting operation. Without being charged, he was brought to Homan Square for questioning and shackled, bent over a bench. The police threatened to send him to Cook County Jail where they said he would be raped and assaulted by other inmates. According to Perez, an officer then proceeded to sodomize him with what the officer claimed was a pistol.[…]

      “The revelations regarding Homan Square followed reporting from the Guardian that showed that one of the top torturers at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Richard Zuley, had honed his techniques extracting confessions for the CPD. The Homan allegations depict the same methods of being shackled in stress positions, sexual assaults and beatings that Zuley used against detainees in the so-called War on Terror.

      “Zuley was far from the first torturer in the CPD. From 1972 to 1991, former police commander Jon Burge was involved in the regular use of torture to extract confessions, sending many innocent victims to jail. Darrell Cannon for example, confessed to a murder after officers electrocuted his genitals with a cattle prod and subjected him to three mock executions. He then spent 24 years behind bars before having his case dismissed on appeal. […]”


      05/16/15 4:56 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      to teri….

      The United States of Depravity is a massive understatement.

      05/16/15 11:52 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Hey, been missing you, Pitch. Things okay?

      05/17/15 5:01 AM | Comment Link

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