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ACLU launches Mobile Justice for Michigan app

June 5, 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has launched a free downloadable mobile app that allows users to record and report cases of police misconduct to the ACLU.

The app is known as Mobile Justice Michigan and became available to users on iOS and Android Wednesday, June 3.

The app has three main functions -- record, witness and report. The record feature allows citizens to capture interactions between police officers and themselves or other potential victims in audio and video files that are automatically sent to the ACLU of Michigan. If anything worth merit goes amiss in the interaction, it will then be reviewed by the ACLU.

In addition to this, the witness feature sends an alert when someone is stopped by police so other citizens can move to the location and record the interaction.

Lastly, the report feature gives users the option to complete an incident report and send it to the ACLU of Michigan for review.

“It’s every citizen’s right to film the police, and we believe that accountability is essential to building trust between communities and law enforcement and to creating confidence that the criminal justice system is fair,” Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan Kary Moss said in a press release Wednesday. “With this app, we empower citizens to know their rights and to document life-threatening interactions.”

Apps like this have become increasingly popular in the last year or so -- especially after bystander videos captured police misconduct at the scenes of the arrest of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, as well as the deaths of Walter Scott in South Carolina and Eric Garner in New York.

For Michigan specifically, the app comes after recent years of questionable cases which include the murders of 20-year Detroit male Terrance Kellom, 49-year-old Saginaw man Milton Hall, 40-year-old Aura Rosser of Ann Arbor and 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones of Detroit.

Michigan joins California, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Oregon as the latest chapter of the ACLU to adopt the Mobile Justice App.

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