ACLU of Texas Launches Police Accountability App ACLU Blue
HOUSTON — Today, the ACLU of Texas announced the launch of ACLU Blue, a police accountability smartphone application that allows users to join an interactive, online community committed to documenting excessive uses of force, racial profiling and over – militarized responses by law enforcement—as well as showcase and elevate examples of model policing in Texas communities. The app is available for use in Texas on the Android and iTunes app stores in English and Spanish.
Through the ACLU Blue app, users will be able to record police interactions or upload videos recorded with other video applications. Once uploaded, the videos will be reviewed by “deputies” to verify the footage does indeed document a police interaction, after which it will be reviewed by ACLU of Texas staff and released to the public via YouTube. The app also features Know Your Rights information educating users on “What to do if Stopped by Police,” “Your Right to Film Police” and “Your Rights at the Border.
The following statements may be attributed to Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas:
“There have been far too many incidents in this country and in this state of police interactions involving misconduct, abuse and tragedy. The ACLU Blue app is designed to continue the national conversation about policing. It encourages model policing by allowing users to show what policing should — and shouldn’t — look like. If an officer uses overly aggressive law enforcement tactics on a civilian, Texans should know about that. And when an officer demonstrates professionalism and model policing, de-escalates a tense situation or foregoes force where diplomacy is what’s warranted, then Texans should know about that, too.”
The following may be attributed to Cheryl Newcomb, deputy director for the ACLU of Texas:
“When properly deployed, police body cameras discourage misconduct, increase accountability and transparency, improve evidence documentation and reduce civilian complaints in some cases by as much as 90 percent. Unfortunately, not all law enforcement agencies use them, and those that do may not have policies to release footage to the public when the public most needs to see it. The ACLU Blue app allows Texans to document police interactions and join a community dedicated to protecting civil liberties.”
The following may be attributed to Dione Friends, communications director for the ACLU of Texas:
“Every time a new police interaction video surfaces online, it sparks a conversation that we need to continue having in order to see real policing reforms. The ACLU Blue app seeks to encourage individuals to use their First Amendment right to film law enforcement interactions, share them and continue the discussion about what we want policing in our communities to look like. We hope that examples of model policing will help the public understand what Texans should expect and accept when they come in contact with law enforcement, and with the ACLU Blue app, Texans will have the power to monitor and amplify law enforcement interactions in their own community.”
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