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Three high school siblings from Decatur, Georgia have developed a mobile phone app that lets citizens rate and share their encounters with law enforcement officials in the wake of the fatal police shooting this month of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The teens said the app, called “Five-O,” will empower communities across the United States with the ability to record their interactions with local police departments and to share that information with the public, according to the group’s website. The app was released Monday.
The app aggregates reported scores for a police officer or department, and uses that information to assign a “grade.” It also includes a GPS system that records the spot where the encounter took place.
“We had been hearing a lot about the scary and negative issues occurring in the media,” Ima Christian, one of the app’s developers, told Buzzfeed. “Most recently, the Michael Brown case, and we talk to our parents often about these issues, and they really try to put everything into context for us. One of the things they really stress is that we focus on finding solutions.”
Eighteen-year-old Brown was shot and killed on Aug. 9 by local police in Ferguson, Missouri. His death sparked racially charged protests and accusations of police misconduct.
Ima, Caleb and Asha Christian developed the app with the help of mentors, and said their aim was to allow citizens to hold local law enforcement officials accountable for their actions.
Five-O will allow documentation of positive as well as negative interactions with police, and has a “know your rights” section with information from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Huffington Post reported.
In response to anger over New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy, a similar app called “Stop and Frisk Watch” was created earlier, according to The New York Times. The app allows such encounters to be recorded and publicized, so that a determination can be made about whether the policy disproportionately targets people of color.