How ACLU Mobile Justice Smartphone App Will Work In San Diego
Cell phones are making it easier for the public to document arrests and other police actions, as seen in the police shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina, and the arrest of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
Sometimes those phones are confiscated or destroyed, according to civil liberties attorneys.
Now there is an smartphone app to help people monitor police actions.
The American Civil Liberties Union released the app last Thursday that allows users to send cellphone video of police encounters directly to the ACLU.
Kellen Russoniello, staff attorney for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, said the Mobile Justice app is crucial.
"It's incredibly important," Russoniello told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. "This way the evidence is already preserved with the ACLU."
Russoniello said the app also allows users to submit a report with the video. From there, the organization would determine how to move forward with the video if it prompted a response.
"We would contact the person," he said. "We would work with them on the correct action moving forward."
Russoniello said there hasn't been much of a response from law enforcement as a whole but it's an app that would help them.
"In general, law enforcement should be excited about these types of things where they can ensure their officers are being held accountable," he said.
In a statement to the media, San Diego Police Department Lt. Scott Wahl said the "concept is great."
“The filming of police officers out in public is not against the law," Wahl said. "We only ask the public to not interfere or obstruct the police in doing their job.”