St. Paul, Minn. (Nov. 13, 2015) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota today launched Mobile Justice MN, a free smart phone app allowing Minnesotans to automatically record and submit cell phone videos of interactions with law enforcement to their local ACLU when they feel their rights have been violated.
The same app is simultaneously being launched in 10 other states today including: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington DC. The Mobile Justice App is already in use in eight other states which include: California, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Oregon.
Mobile Justice MN is available for use on Android and iOS phones and can be downloaded free through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It enables users to register, record, witness and report interactions with law enforcement and includes information on individual rights.
Videos captured on the Mobile Justice MN app will be transmitted to the ACLU and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed.
“The concerns over police practices, including racial profiling and excessive use of force, are very real for communities across the state,” said Charles Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota “This app will help serve as a check on abuse – whether by police officers, sheriff’s deputies, or other officials – allowing ordinary citizens to record and document any interaction with law enforcement.”
The functions of the app include:
- Record allows individuals to capture exchanges with police officers and other law enforcement officials in audio and video files that are automatically sent to the ACLU of Minnesota.
- Witness Notifies app users when another app user is recording a police stop, giving them an opportunity to go to the location they are currently at to observe the interaction. Notifications are only received when the person recording has opted to broadcast their location.
- Report allows the app user to complete an incident report and send it directly to the ACLU for review.
- Know Your Rights provides an overview of what rights protect you when you are stopped by law enforcement officers.
While Mobile Justice MN is intended for use by bystanders, the ACLU of Minnesota recognizes that some users may want to use it while they are involved in a police encounter. Anyone interacting with law enforcement should announce that they are reaching for a phone, and that they are attempting to access the app to record the exchange. Users’ safety depends on their ability to clearly communicate any actions they take and remain calm.
Download the app for Android (from google play store) here: https://play.google.com/
Download the app for iphone ios (from apple store) here: http://itunes.apple.com/