New ACLU App Helps You Report Police Behaving Badly

A new app from the ACLU of California will automatically transfer video straight to the user's local ACLU chapter, saving the footage just in case something happens to the phone. This can be especially useful for recording police activity.

Mobile Justice CA is available via iOS or Android, and will allow users to send footage directly to their local chapter of the ACLU, the L.A. Times reports. Users can also write a report of what they witnessed, and ACLU officials will review reports and look for incidents of police misconduct. The ACLU may release relevant video to the public, and users may choose to submit anonymously. Mobile Justice could be especially useful in instances where the users may be facing arrest, during which their phone may be confiscated, or if they feel their phone might be destroyed.

We downloaded the free app and checked it out. It's simple to use, and has a couple cool features. By tapping 'rights,' you can check and see what your rights are when dealing with the police. When you want to record, just press 'record.' Tap again when you'd like to stop recording, and your video will be on its way to the ACLU. You will next be prompted to fill out a description of what you saw, though you don't have to and you can select 'unsure' to any questions where you don't have a certain answer. Your report will also be sent to the ACLU. You can also elect to be a Witness, which will send you an alert whenever nearby users are reporting police activity. You can toggle this feature on or off.

Civilians have the right to record the police, and civilian footage can be helpful in figuring out what exactly happened in controversial interactions between the police and the public. Just recently, civilian footage revealed police officers captured police tasing a homeless man on Venice Beach. Civilian footage also exposed a CHP officer repeatedly punching a woman. Of course, for the footage to be useful, you will need to submit it. Recently, a woman in South Gate who was recording police had her phone smashed by a U.S. Marshal. In a video produced by the ACLU to promote the app, they show a similar interaction and how Mobile Justice might be useful in such a case.