Justice in Your Pocket

A new ACLU app will allow community members to digitally record and report police abuse.

Stephen Henderson speaks with Darrell Dawsey, Communications Director of ACLU Michigan, about their new app, Mobile Justice MI.  This app will allow users to film their interactions with the police, and send videos of incidents directly to the ALCU of Michigan.  They discuss the app, police brutality, and what people can do about it. 

  • Mobile Justice MI:  The app was developed to give people a direct way to record the police. Dawsey says that the idea for this app originated in New York City, with “Stop and Frisk Watch”, an app designed to combat disproportionate police targeting of young black and latino men.  He says these apps exist in several states, including Missouri, Oregon, and Mississippi, and more are in development. 
  • Each case is individual: Dawsey says that the ACLU approaches each video individually to determine the best course of action, and they do not ignore any. 
  • Right to film police:  A caller asks if police might tell people not to film them.  Dawsey says that this is possible, but it is your legal right to film the police, and people should exercise this right.  He says that this is not only a right but an obligation in the current environment. 
  • Police in the justice system:  Dawsey says that in order to fix systemic violence and racism and make the justice system fair, we will have to remove the advantages police have in the justice system.  He says that police often manipulate the justice system to their advantage in ways that victims cannot.
  • Living with systemic racism:  Stephen and Dawsey talk about their personal experiences with police, and how they deal with police racism.  Dawsey says “you live with it but you don’t”, and that he doesn’t think you can ever really be prepared for the news that your kid has been jailed or had a traumatic interaction with the police.  

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.