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Subject To a "Stop and Frisk"? There's an App For That

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the get-insurance-on-the-phone dept.

Cellphones 201

lightbox32 writes "The New York Civil Liberties Union released a free smartphone application on Wednesday that allows people to record videos of and report police 'stop and frisk' activity, a practice widely denounced by civil rights groups as mostly targeting minorities and almost never resulting in arrests. The app was thoroughly criticized by the New York Police Department, which said that the tool might prove useful for criminals."

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201 comments

Record Videos (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267441)

Weren't there cases of people getting in more trouble recording their police encounters?

Re:Record Videos (4, Informative)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267471)

Re:Record Videos (5, Informative)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267501)

As it stands, in many places, it is legal to record video in public, including of police and their actions.

As it stands, in many places, it is illegal for the police to harass citizens who decide to record video in public.

Re:Record Videos (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268025)

It needs a "live feed" option to put it live to some web site that records it, just in case the police seize the phone for video evidence then "lose" the video.

Re:Record Videos (4, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268045)

And it needs to be fast and easy. Tap the app, boom, instant video transmission and recording. During an incident is not the time to have to plow through all kinds of crap.

Re:Record Videos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268033)

History has shown, that doesn't mean they can't still make your life miserable for doing so and get away with it.

Re:Record Videos (5, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268101)

btw, thanks for the link

"the police department purposefully targeted black and Hispanic neighborhoods and said officers are pressured to meet quotas as part of the program and are punished if they don't"

"It's taken more than 6,000 guns off the streets in the last eight years, and this year we are on pace to have the lowest number of murders in recorded history"

I could give a fly f*ck about their effectiveness, they're breaking the law to up hold the law?! String them up and hang the bodies in public as an example. What someone in power knowingly and actively ignores the constitution, they need the wrath of God to fall down on them to remind people not to do that.

Above ALL crimes, someone abusing their power and ignoring someone else's rights is the worst.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Re:Record Videos (2)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268179)

Replying to undo an incorrect mod. Consider this a +1

Re:Record Videos (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268449)

String them up and hang the bodies in public as an example

You're no better than the cops by saying that.

First of all, it has yet to be determined if the department is actively targeting specific groups. It may be the case, but that's why it is in court. Some groups commit crimes at a higher per-capita rate than others. So thus, a higher arrest rate for one specific group is not in of itself evidence of discrimination.

Second, assuming the police are not profiling, then the stops are legal. I don't like it, but the Supreme Court has ruled the practice to be legal [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Record Videos (2)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268657)

Those quota's are illegal and the NYPD is being sued over them. This case is likely what caused this app to be created.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/02/24/44142.htm [courthousenews.com]

They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267519)

I'm black, and I grew up in areas commonly referred to as "the ghetto" by outsiders. Luckily, I took school seriously, and I was able to escape this environment, unlike many of the people I grew up with.

Let's cut the bullshit, though. In most major American cities, it is blacks and Hispanics committing the majority of the crimes. I don't like this fact, but I can't deny it. Nobody else should, either, regardless of his or her background.

I completely understand why the police may target blacks and Hispanics. It's not about race, though. It's about targeting those who are most likely to commit crimes. It's about targeting those whose culture, not race, emphasizes violence, substance abuse, prostitution and crime.

I don't buy the line of reasoning that it's poverty that causes these people to be more inclined to partake in criminal behavior. I grew up in that very same poverty, and the only thing I did differently than many of my peers was to study hard, and avoid drugs and gangs. It was that simple. In fact, if they just avoided spending huge sums of money on drugs, many of them would no longer be poor!

I'm black, and I've traveled extensively throughout America and many other nations. I have never run into problems with the police anywhere. But perhaps that's because I don't go out of my way to wear baggy pants with the waist at my ankles, I don't wear a straight-brimmed baseball hat with the price tag still on it, I don't drive around blaring hip hop or rap music, I don't choose to talk like I'm mentally disabled, and I don't partake in crime.

Many of the people who whine and moan about being targeted by the police merely need to clean up their acts. If they don't act like criminals, and act civilized instead, then they won't raise the suspicion of the police and wouldn't be stopped. Yes, it's that simple.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267539)

I totally agree. If you don't dress like me then you should be harassed by authorities regardless of your innocents.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268181)

There's a very common style of dress here (Scotland) that will see you get some attention from the police: baseball cap, large zip-up tracksuit top, tracksuit trousers tucked into socks and trainers. Are the police paying attention to them because of how they dress? Yes, and rightly so. The cap is to hide the face from (usually high-mounted) cameras, top to sling over your arm to cover your hand while it steals goods/purses/phones, trousers in socks so you can simply drop the goods down your trousers, and trainers for running.

So yes, in some cases the way you dress is absolutely a reason for suspicion. Sometimes, not always, granted, but sometimes, if something looks like a duck it might just be a duck.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (4, Funny)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268355)

Wow and I thought our seedy underbelly dressed goofy. Tucking pants into socks?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268511)

Well, that would be tricky as "pants" are underwear here, but yes, it does look as dumb as it sounds.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267595)

But perhaps that's because I don't go out of my way to wear baggy pants with the waist at my ankles, I don't wear a straight-brimmed baseball hat with the price tag still on it, I don't drive around blaring hip hop or rap music, I don't choose to talk like I'm mentally disabled, and I don't partake in crime.

Many of the people who whine and moan about being targeted by the police merely need to clean up their acts. If they don't act like criminals, and act civilized instead, then they won't raise the suspicion of the police and wouldn't be stopped. Yes, it's that simple.

Gosh, this is a day I'm obtuse: you say that people who wear baggy pants and straight-brimmed baseball hats, driving around... (etc... up to and excluding the partake in crime)... are, it's that simple, actually performing dirty down acts (which need to be cleaned up) and are most likely to commit crimes?

'Cause if that's what you are saying, then the application the TFA mentions comes not a moment too early: I imagine that at least the ones that are not that likely to be criminals would be happier to have their presumption of innocence and maybe their liberty/health/sanity guarded (as much as possible) by some evidence against potential abuses (why would I trust better a cop, even if/when working in the same ghetto?)

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267667)

Yes and so what? They are still supposed to follow the law and respect peoples liberties. If they are actuallty only targeting criminals, then why do these actions so infrequently lead to arrest?

Besides that...if they are targeting criminals, and these are legal actions within the powers of their job, then why should they fear having their actions documented? If they are doing nothing wrong then they should be happy to have people showing them doing the fine job that they do.

Its THAT simple.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267765)

Yes and so what? They are still supposed to follow the law and respect peoples liberties. If they are actuallty only targeting criminals, then why do these actions so infrequently lead to arrest?

New York is talking about decriminalizing possession of small amount of marijuana, in case you were unaware.

Currently, possession of small amounts of marijuana is punishable by a fine.

You can't fine someone for having marijuana unless you know they have it. One way to find out is to stop and frisk them.

So, they're not targeting criminals, they're targeting people they can issue tickets to.

Think of it as a speed trap for pedestrians....

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267865)

"One way to find out is to stop and frisk them. "

Where is the probable cause?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1, Flamebait)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267959)

Probable cause? Odour, pupil dilation, behaviour. You can smell a dope user from a distance and you don't need to be a trained sniffer dog to do so, either.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268361)

Kill yourself, pig.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268193)

Where is the probable cause?

Isn't a question of probable cause. USING marijuana isn't the issue, POSSESSING it is.

Are they profiling? You betcha!

Is the profile something on the order of "blacks are more likely to commit crimes"? Nope. It's more like "young black men are more likely to have some weed on them, and we can get ~$150 in revenue from ticketing them if we see it"....

Note that sobriety checkpoints don't have to have probable cause either.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268023)

This guy points out how police are misusing their powers to frisk people so they can find marijuana and issue a profitable ticket, and this is modded flamebait?

Ok, Hitler Youth.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267787)

I'm going to guess that you've never really ventured out of white, suburban America. You've never spent any significant time in the run-down, black-majority portions of some of the nation's major cities, right? You've never been to the bad parts of Philadelphia, Chicago, N.Y.C., L.A., Detroit, Atlanta or Houston, have you?

The suburban reality that you're familiar with is very different from the reality in the "bad part of town". Maybe only two or three people in your entire subdivision have even faced some sort of serious criminal prosecution, never mind an actual conviction. In the ghetto, however, it's not unusual to find 85% to 90% of the population who has actually served jail time for committing a serious crime. It's truly that bad in some places, even if you choose not to accept this reality.

The gang culture is inherently a criminal one. Committing crime is the most important aspect of this lifestyle. It's virtually impossible to be a part of this culture without having been involved in criminal activity.

When the police see somebody who goes out of their way to be a part of this culture, it's almost guaranteed that such a person has committed some serious criminal activity in the past. We aren't talking about jaywalking, or speeding, or getting a parking ticket. We're talking about real crimes like assault, robbery, and murder. The police have every reason to be suspicious of such people. After all, law-abiding people don't wear their pants around their ankles, don't get their teeth gold-plated although they're simultaneously unemployed and collecting welfare, and they don't go out of their way to appear to be part of a wholly-criminal culture.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268573)

In the ghetto, however, it's not unusual to find 85% to 90% of the population who has actually served jail time for committing a serious crime.

Citation needed.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (-1, Flamebait)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267685)

I don't have to see the colour of your skin to know that you're a total asshole.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267737)

+1 Insightful for parent poster.

It is far less the color of one's skin, but the way people choose to present themselves or act. When one acts like or mimic people who do not care about the law, or don't care about other people, then that automatically puts one at a disadvantage.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267849)

No, not insightful, misguided into believing that all Police Officers are upstanding law abiding citizens themselves. IF you instead see them accurately as "just another human being", then you're more likely to want checks in place to ensure they can't abuse their powers.

The desire is to always go towards the extreme of the Police on the one side against some anonymous "obvious" no-gooder (you can tell because criminals aways dress in a way that makes them easy to pick out... you see). However, having a law like this in place means that Mr. "I've never run afoul of the law" above could be stopped and frisked just because this particular officer thinks that anyone darker than a tan should be pulled over because they've OBVIOUSLY been outside too much... a sure sign of improper behavior!!!! Or maybe they're having a bad day and just want to pass that bad day along, knowing that there's nothing you can do to stop them because it's legal. There's never a good reason to allow a Policeman to harass the public. And, given that the vast majority of people checked are innocent, it's not even a good practice for being able to stop them! So where's the benefit?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267877)

?
I think you are replying to the wrong person/persons. My +1 insightful comment was about the parent to my posting, which was someone saying that the way people dress/talk/look/behave is a lot more important than the color of their skin. And he is right.

However, I do not at all support the idea of "stop and frisk." Just because someone slightly looks suspicious is not probable cause to search or frisk them.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267771)

This is a good point. I've seen the police giving some hairy, badly dressed programmers and artists a hard time too, even though they're white!

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267813)

I'm black, and I've traveled extensively throughout America and many other nations. I have never run into problems with the police anywhere. But perhaps that's because I don't go out of my way to wear baggy pants with the waist at my ankles, I don't wear a straight-brimmed baseball hat with the price tag still on it, I don't drive around blaring hip hop or rap music, I don't choose to talk like I'm mentally disabled, and I don't partake in crime.

What on earth does my method of dress have to do with my level of intelligence? Why does the manner in which I speak imply something about my character? I'm educated, but that doesn't mean I'm going to start dressing like a hipster douche in a GQ ad, and certainly not to avoid being hassled by police that have no business harassing me in the first place. I've been in those situations, too, although when I was growing up, it was the grunge look (flannel shirts, chain wallets) that was a target by our local police. Just wearing a Tool shirt [dementedferret.com] was enough to get me harassed. Hell, just carrying (not even riding, just carrying) a skateboard was enough to get someone harassed by the cops in my town.

I had a 4.0 GPA, perfect attendance, and volunteered, but that all goes out the window because I'm wearing a t-shirt for a band the cops don't like? Come on.

Many of the people who whine and moan about being targeted by the police merely need to clean up their acts.

Thanks for the tip, mein fuhrer.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267963)

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would constantly wear his or her jeans several sizes too large, so that the waist sits on his or her thighs?

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would constantly wear a baseball cap with the price tag or other stickers still on it solely to make it look like it was stolen?

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person who is unemployed and collecting welfare would encase his or her teeth in gold-plated metal?

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would voluntarily speak his or her native language unintelligibly?

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would taunt police with gang signs, obscene gestures and insults?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (5, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268029)

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would constantly wear his or her jeans several sizes too large, so that the waist sits on his or her thighs?

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would constantly wear a baseball cap with the price tag or other stickers still on it solely to make it look like it was stolen?

Freedom of expression. Personal preference. Thanks to the Constitution, I don't need a legitimate reason to do these things if I so choose to do so.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268129)

You know, you could have just replied with, "No, I can't give any legitimate reasons."

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268375)

Those are all valid, you piece of human shit.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (4, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268469)

Can you give any legitimate reasons for wearing a tie, button-down shirt, and suit-jacket? Fashion is inherently irrational, claiming "conforming with the norms of the dominant culture" is more legitimate than freedom of expression is a chilling position to take.

That said - if you choose to present yourself as a member of a culture which contains an extremely high percentage of criminals, then you have no grounds to complain if people treat you as a criminal yourself. Cultural solidarity is fine, but you'd best take a good long look at the culture you're choosing to support.

And I have no problem with police profiling such people - they are after all voluntarily choosing to announce themselves as a member of a heavily criminal culture. However, there's a big difference between elevated suspicion and harassment, and as the titular enforcers of our legal system the police should conduct themselves in a manner above reproach. If they object to being recorded while exercising the powers we have granted them, then I'd say they are voluntarily choosing to announce themselves as members of a culture that wishes the freedom to abuse those powers, and we should treat them as such.

"Who's watching the watchers?" is a very legitimate question, and the only answer not ripe for abuse is "we the people".

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268209)

Actually, I'd suspect anyone wearing jeans, period. If you don't have enough money to be able to purchase a nice suit with some dress shoes, (maybe cufflinks, but not mandatory) then my suspicion is that you're likely to want to try to steal from me.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268635)

If you don't have enough money to be able to purchase a nice suit with some dress shoes, (maybe cufflinks, but not mandatory) then my suspicion is that you're likely to want to try to steal from me.

Actually, the guy wearing a nice suit and French cuffs is more likely to want to try to steal money from you. He'll just do it in a way that can only be revealed by an investigative agency.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268681)

Then you need to realize that freedom comes with the price that you'll be more suspicious to others, including law enforcers. As long as you don't mind such consequences, no one will stop you.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268073)

You seem to think intelligence and law-abiding behavior go hand in hand, they do not!
Dont get me wront, i think its just as stupid to dress and sound like a moron.
But to be targeted as a criminal just for that reason alone is not right and you know it.

By that same distinction, if i have an expensive suit and always talk like a politician, i can do whatever the hell i want, because they will be looking for some gangbanger instead.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268089)

First, delete the word intelligent from your queries because lack of intelligence has never been a legitimate reason for police to engage in unconstitutional actions.

Second, the answer to the rest of your questions can be summed up this way:

1-3: Fashion combined with a lack of taste.

4: You're assuming that because you can't understand a particular dialect or accent, the person is choosing to do so voluntarily. So?

I grew up in northern Minnesota in a town so white bread the only black family was the Army recruiter's. I've traveled over a good portion of the world. Served in the Navy with guys from the Philippines, Mexico, blacks from the worst slums of cities like Chicago and LA, and rednecks from the deepest South. I know I've heard just about every kind of accent and dialect of English imaginable. I never had a problem understanding anything anybody said to me in English, whether they were brown, black, red, yellow, or white; rich or poor; highly educated or illiterate. What's your problem? Lack of concentration?

5: Maybe because they think the police don't deserve their respect based upon past actions? And this requires a "stop and frisk", why?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268205)

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would...

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any law-abiding person would need to justify themselves to either you or the police?

Damn control freaks.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268267)

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would constantly wear his or her jeans several sizes too large, so that the waist sits on his or her thighs?

Because I want to. And I make six figures and am a parent.

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would constantly wear a baseball cap with the price tag or other stickers still on it solely to make it look like it was stolen?

You surmise to understand a culture you aren't a part of and made no attempt to understand? Who the hell said it was so it looks stolen? It's so it looks new, dumbass.

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person who is unemployed and collecting welfare would encase his or her teeth in gold-plated metal?

How's your strawman working out for you? Gold teeth != unemployed, prejudiced ass.

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would voluntarily speak his or her native language unintelligibly?

I don't know, why don't we ask the entire south? Because I can't understand a damn thing those people say, white, black, or green. Maybe local dialects have a place in culture...maybe?

Can you give me a legitimate reason why any intelligent, law-abiding person would taunt police with gang signs, obscene gestures and insults?

Who cares? Freedom of speech applies to people talking to police as well.

I have this vision of you being an older, white man from a homogeneous culture. Am I right?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268609)

Why does the manner in which I speak imply something about my character?

Because the world doesn't run in a geekish way. Geeks and people with borderline Asperger's think that everything is a logical deduction and that if there is not a straight chain of 100% causality between dressing in some ways and being a criminal, making the connection must be worthless. There is such a thing as probability, and there's certainly such a thing as social cues.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267817)

Much of it is about body language and not about the colour of one's skin. It's always a choice; I'm sure I've
had many opportunity to do wrong, but didn't see them because I always made a choice not to. I applaud
you in your accomplishments, though I think it's funny that you may not think that way, like myself,
you're not looking for trouble so it never finds you - you see nothing exceptional in that.

CAPTCHA = affinity

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267871)

Maybe it's about body language of a sub culture that the cops don't understand?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267937)

And why is certain body language probable cause?

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268035)

Maybe your reading comprehension is failing you so let me break it down. Body Language is influenced by culture, it can indicate that one subscribes to a certain culture of which crime is a significant part. Therefore someone who chooses to be part of this culture is much more likely to be a criminal than your average person. You may say that this in itself isn't probable cause, but it does increase their chances of actually catching a criminal.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267843)

You know coming from a primarily white neighborhood with a very small black population I can say this is truth as far as what happens were I live. The majority of arrests / police encounters are DWI's and possession of marijuana . I can safely say out of the 100 or so black kids that were at my highschool only 5 had been busted for weed. On the other hand I saw 8 people I knew when I went to court to deal with a traffic ticket, all there for possession, and this was just one court date. The police go after people who commit crimes, and what ever can make the department / city money. The only color they see is Green.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267853)

I'm black, and I grew up in areas commonly referred to as "the ghetto" by outsiders.

This... under a post title "They're just targeting those who commit crimes."?

You are black my ass, AC... nobody escapes a ghetto and have that little compassion for those left behind... if you did, I'd be more afraid of you as a human being than the left ones in the ghetto: at least I can avoid them, but you are mimicking too good a human being for feeling safe in your company. BTW, are you a CEO already?... No? Maybe on your way of becoming one?

Better chances that you are actually a piece of white trash trying to look clever.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267939)

I agree - I doubt the poster is black. I couldn't see myself saying "yeah, go frisk those white white-collar bastards because they're most likely laundering money!" Skin colour should never be a reason for police harassment - I don't care what the stats say. You treat people like that and they might just say "hey, I'm going to be treated like shit no matter what I do - not much point in being a good person".

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268353)

"hey, I'm going to be treated like shit no matter what I do - not much point in being a good person".

which is exactly what occurs now.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267883)

That would be all fine and good if stop and frisk were an effective law enforcement tool. The problem is that it is being used seemingly randomly and rarely resulting in arrests or actually stopping crime. What it does do is breed mistrust of police, which is a major problem in many areas.

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267995)

are you sure you're black?

Relevant - Chris Rock footage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268037)

Agreed 100%. Chris Rock did put it quite well years ago - How not to get your ass kicked by the police.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JuBSkYTK74

Re:They're just targeting those who commit crimes. (2)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268133)

I remember reading a story a long while back about Will Smith getting pulled over because police thought he stole the car. You know, black guy in a fancy car in a fancy neighborhood.

As much as I agree with what you've said, I also think there are better ways than hiring more police to put more blacks/etc in jail. We need social reform, not stronger/stricter enforcement. Better education, stop making pot illegal, etc. The cycle must be broken.

Re:Record Videos (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267623)

Yes there were. But the resulting court cases are consistently deciding in favor of the public right to record police activity.

For example: Motorcyclist Wins Taping Case Against State Police [slashdot.org]

Re:Record Videos (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268385)

Sure they did, because criminals don't want to be recorded committing their crimes and get rather upset with the people doing the recording.

WTF!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267447)

America stops and randomly frisks people in the streets?
Even Indian cops rape people, but its not legal
(rape!=frisk, I know that)

Re:WTF!!! (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267495)

Fair point. But I've come to the conclusion that anything a cop wants to do magically becomes legal. A great allegory of the police system in America is Senior Chang from the TV show Community.

Nice Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267451)

Stop and Frisk is also widely praised by law enforcement and anti-crime groups as deterring crimes and keeping communities safe. Why didn't you put that in the summary?

Why is this story even here? There's an app for everything these days, and you decide to post about this. I sense somebody is pushing a political agenda here.

Re:Nice Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267957)

Stop and Frisk is also widely praised by law enforcement

Wow, the police approve techniques that increase their power. Color me shocked (not).

But as they've been telling *US* (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267467)

If you've done nothing wrong officer, you have nothing to worry about, do you?

Re:But as they've been telling *US* (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267517)

shut up and suck that officer's cock like a good citizen

For the witnesses more than the targeted person. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267483)

While it may serve some use with the targeted person(audio), this seems targeted primarily towards the witnesses to the act.

Porcupine 411 (5, Interesting)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267503)

Liberty activists in New Hampshire have had a system set up like this for years, Porcupine 411 [porcupine411.com] . It's just a basic audio recording and distribution system, so it works on anyone's cell phone, not just smart phones. Call the number and, typically within less than a minute after you hang up, every subscriber receives either an MMS message on their phone, or an email with an MP3 attachment.

Why using this app would be a bad idea (1, Flamebait)

davide marney (231845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267505)

On first blush, the thought of using an app like this sounds good: it keeps the police on their best behavior, because they know they're being recorded. The problem is this app doesn't just record, it aggregates recordings, and as we all know, once you have aggregate data, you can do all sorts of useful things with it, such as predict where the police are, a handy thing to know if you are trying to avoid them. The more data is aggregated, the more valuable a target it becomes. A better solution would be for the app to record police actions only on the device, and to have any reporting go through ordinary, public communication channels to lower its profile.

Re:Why using this app would be a bad idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267561)

A better solution would be for the app to record police actions only on the device, and to have any reporting go through ordinary, public communication channels to lower its profile.

Already been done. The police officers response to this was to destroy the evidence on place. This is the next step.

The problem is this app doesn't just record, it aggregates recordings, and as we all know, once you have aggregate data, you can do all sorts of useful things with it, such as predict where the police are, a handy thing to know if you are trying to avoid them.

It is also pretty handy to know where the police are if you, you know, want to know what your tax money is being used for.
The recordings in questions aren't made until after the police have already interacted with the persons they stop. No criminal is going to be able to use it to avoid the cops unless the cops are bothering ordinary citizens instead of doing their job.

Re:Why using this app would be a bad idea (3, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267899)

It is also pretty handy to know where the police are if you, you know, want to know what your tax money is being used for.

I used to work third shift, and took lunch every day around 2:30 AM. Every day, I would drive down to the gas station a block from work and get a muffin and some coffee, and every day, there would be a minimum of 5 cop cars and 8-10 officers hanging out drinking free coffee. According to the clerk, they pretty much hang out there all night, shooting the shit, drinking the coffee, doing fuck all.

I pass one cop every morning on my way to work now and the guy is asleep almost every time I see him. He's hidden back behind a store (where he must think nobody notices him) in his cruiser, head thrown back, mouth wide open almost every time. Part of me really wants to walk up and knock on his window just to see what his response to me catching him asleep is, but self-preservation obviously keeps me from making a big deal about it.

Still, part of me wants to turn in a complaint (if he's on the job, he damn sure shouldn't be sleeping), but after watching this video [youtube.com] , I think turning in a complaint form would be a quicker way for me getting arrested and thrown in a cell than knocking on the officer's window while he's sleeping.

Re:Why using this app would be a bad idea (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268239)

Better doing nothing than out trying to fill some quota of citizen harassment.

Re:Why using this app would be a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267735)

You can already contact city hall and ask where the police are (traffic stops and what not). It's required by law all across the country, no one really bothers to do it though. TMYK.

Re:Why using this app would be a bad idea (4, Insightful)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267867)

Good, I'm glad it helps people predict where the police are. The police are civil servants, employees of a public institution. They have no expectation of privacy and already too many material and political advantages over the people they're supposed to "serve and protect." Considering the recent militarization of police (why does the Tampa, FL police department have an APC that looks like a goddamn TANK?), the shift toward "less-lethal" weapons that police are more willing to use regularly against people who did nothing to deserve their application, and the culture in many police departments of lie-and-deny to cover for police abuse, it's frankly about time the people had something that pushes back and that the police can't do anything to stop.

One of the most heartening things I recall seeing on this front was the police overreach at the UC Davis protests. Go watch a video of it. Once Lt. John Adrian Pike starts pepper-spraying the seated protestors, count how many cell phone cameras go up, making sure the whole world can see exactly what happened from every angle. The police chief tried to say the cops felt threatened and were penned in, but widely-available footage proved that she was lying through her teeth. Were it not for the recordings, she may have gotten away with it and dishonestly discredited the protestors' side of the story.

Between this, "Cop Recorder" (another iPhone/Android app), and Trapster, we at least are developing our own toolkit to use to force police to be accountable and considerate of the people. If it makes the police's job harder, oh well, boo-hoo, they can cry me a river. Being a cop isn't SUPPOSED to be easy and if they get fancy tech toys like tasers, disorientation strobes, and military-style body armor, it's only fair that the people get their own tools to make sure the police cannot hide their misdeeds.

Re:Why using this app would be a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268173)

I see it this way: Every time someone complains about an officer using a taser, the department says, "They used that instead of using their gun and killing the person." so this is the public's way of saying, "I used this [the app] instead of shooting the officer who was violating my Rights." If things get worse for average people, things will eventually get violent. Sure that happens now, but rarely (overall). People forget just how close we are to anarchy at any given moment because we haven't had any here on a large scale in so very long. All it takes is a will to act by a critical mass (and that critical mass is no where near a majority) and :poof: goes our safe and orderly society.

How about you stop doing illegal things, huh? (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267533)

I guess it's just easier to whine about how "their poor feelings were hurt" by the officers doing their jobs.

wait, what? (5, Interesting)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267643)

It's a useful thing to be able to videotape cops. It's a check on them ABUSING THEIR POSITION [louisvillepeace.org] , which they often do [time.com] . It is also allowed [wikipedia.org] by [barkingdogs.net] Law [legislation.gov.uk] . I'd go one step further than that and say that it's an obligation to self to do all one can to protect oneself since NOBODY ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU. Do not ever kid yourself that anyone will.

Re:wait, what? (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267663)

Oh, on the BarkingDogs link: in the UK, you can covertly record a conversation you are involved in (in person or on the phone), as long as one person in the conversation is aware and consents to the conversation being recorded. That'd be the one holding the recording device (ie, you). So, you're covered. 1998 (c.29) Section 36.

Re:wait, what? (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267897)

That'd be the one holding the recording device

Not necessarily. The phone-holder could be a bystander, recording the police and the friskee.

Re:wait, what? (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267903)

...without either of them knowing about it.

Re:wait, what? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267975)

I was talking about recording something you're directly involved in, but I know what you mean. Refer the Rodney King incident.

By the way, if I'm getting the shit kicked out of me by a cop or cops at any point in the future (I couldn't imagine why I would be, but there again I don't think King was expecting it either), please, for the love of God, put down the fucking camera and HELP ME!

Re:wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268105)

Attacking a police officer wouldn't be a good suggestion.

Re:wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268591)

No, but shooting one would be.

Re:wait, what? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268435)

By the way, if I'm getting the shit kicked out of me by a cop or cops at any point in the future (I couldn't imagine why I would be, but there again I don't think King was expecting it either), please, for the love of God, put down the fucking camera and HELP ME!

Not possible. The only way I could help is if I was somehow able to kill or disable all the cops at the scene. Which is rather unlikely. And if I somehow did so, that makes me Public Enemy #1 (and you get to be #2 even if you had nothing to do with it).

Re:wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268663)

So you want me to get charges for attacking a cop that is attacking you? Pass - you probably deserved to be attacked.

Re:wait, what? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268401)

I'm surprised nobody brought up this case: John T Williams [youtube.com] (warning - rather disturbing footage)

A guy shuffles across the screen at 0:58. We hear Officer Birke yell at Williams to stop, then at 1:15 he issues an order to drop the knife Williams is carrying, and at 1:21 he opens fire. He never once identified himself as police. The officer was not charged, because he claimed that what was going on off-screen was that Williams was turning in a way that could threaten Birke. This is despite plenty of countering evidence: most of the shots went into Williams' back, eyewitnesses disagreed with Birke's assessment of the situation, and there was some evidence that Birke had it in for Williams due to past police encounters.

The interesting part of the article... (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267697)

The article alluded to the ACLU keeping the up loaders info along with the video. If that's the case, the person filming could conceivably become a witness and the video used in a court case. As was noted, that could help law enforcement (or defendant claiming police abuse) defending a stop or developing a case against someone who turned out to have committed a crime.

The scary part of the article... (4, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268049)

The article alluded to the ACLU keeping the up loaders info along with the video. If that's the case, the person filming could conceivably become a witness and the video used in a court case. As was noted, that could help law enforcement (or defendant claiming police abuse) defending a stop or developing a case against someone who turned out to have committed a crime.

Actually, it was the Police Commissioner saying that:

“It's one thing when providers learn what pizza or movies you like. It’s another to create a database of stops and arrests by police,” [Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne] said in an email statement. “On the plus side, the videos may capture images of suspects in the vicinity of a stop and be helpful to the police in that regard. Presumably, the NYCLU database will [include] the names of the videographers and provide a rich vein of potential witnesses to crimes being investigated by the NYPD and other authorities.”

Translation: we're coming after the videographers. You upload a video, expect a knock at your door from a hostile police officer, demanding to know what you saw, why you were in the area, maybe you were part of the crime, what's your alibi, mind if I look around your house, we're going to need you to come downtown and answer some questions, etc.

Re:The scary part of the article... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268539)

Actually, it was the Police Commissioner saying that:

“It's one thing when providers learn what pizza or movies you like. It’s another to create a database of stops and arrests by police,” [Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne] said in an email statement. “On the plus side, the videos may capture images of suspects in the vicinity of a stop and be helpful to the police in that regard. Presumably, the NYCLU database will [include] the names of the videographers and provide a rich vein of potential witnesses to crimes being investigated by the NYPD and other authorities.”

Translation: we're coming after the videographers. You upload a video, expect a knock at your door from a hostile police officer, demanding to know what you saw, why you were in the area, maybe you were part of the crime, what's your alibi, mind if I look around your house, we're going to need you to come downtown and answer some questions, etc.

While some individual cop may decide to do that; my experience is that most police agencies don't have the time to waste doing that nor, in general, are even interested in doing what you say. They really do want to catch bad guys while not trampling civil rights, believe it or not. That's not to say they all are perfect or card carrying ACLU members, but they do care about following the law.

Useful to criminals (3, Interesting)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267723)

"The app was thoroughly criticized by the New York Police Department, which said that the tool might prove useful for criminals."

Food and water might prove useful to criminals as well, let's ban that as well.

Re:Useful to criminals (1)

Noitatsidem (1701520) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267823)

Why stop there? Ban human life for maximum efficiency.

Anything that is useful is useful for criminals (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267827)

A pencil and a piece of paper are useful for criminal activity. So are food, shelter, oxygen, roads and cars. Ban everything!

Brilliant! (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267863)

an app that can record video! wait...can't every phone from the last 10 years do that?

Plainly visible in public (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#40267961)

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne denounced the app, saying criminals would find it “useful” because it would alert them to where police stops were happening.

It sounds like someone needs to do their policing inside their private residence, instead of in public. If you just leave a cop sitting on the front seat of your car where any citizen can see it, you shouldn't expect your cop habit to remain a private matter.

Useful to criminals, blah, blah, blah... (5, Insightful)

epp_b (944299) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268053)

I'm getting really tired of hearing that $technology or $application_of_technology may be "useful to criminals".

In a supposedly free country (yeah, I know, who am I kidding?), shouldn't we always err on the side of liberty instead of trying to "pre-regulate" criminal activity?

Re:Useful to criminals, blah, blah, blah... (1)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268139)

I'm getting really tired of hearing that $technology or $application_of_technology may be "useful to criminals".

In a supposedly free country (yeah, I know, who am I kidding?), shouldn't we always err on the side of liberty instead of trying to "pre-regulate" criminal activity?

Nah, Minority Report [imdb.com] gives the legislatures huge boners. So do the phrases "for the children" and "to prevent terrorism."

Re:Useful to criminals, blah, blah, blah... (4, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268155)

In a supposedly free country (yeah, I know, who am I kidding?), shouldn't we always err on the side of liberty instead of trying to "pre-regulate" criminal activity?

Precisely! That goes with a lot of issues lately...gun control, gay marriage, etc...why do so many look for ways to reduce liberty just because they disagree with something? That's a byproduct of freedom, get used to it.

This is the NYPD (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268257)

They get to beat up JUDGES [timesledger.com] with impunity, and nobody on the force sees anything. Sure, you can record all this data. The ACLU will do press releases Maybe they'll even get a judgement in Federal court. Won't stop the activity, because the state courts (including the one run by the judge who got judo-chopped) believe in the infallibility of cops.

Definition of criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268299)

Criminals: Persons not employed by the NYPD.

I used to give 'em the benefit of the doubt, but fsck the police.

Law are for police too? What? (1)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | more than 2 years ago | (#40268597)

If they are doing their job and following all the rules then it won't bother them that the people are recording the video. It could lead to a raise if their performance is excellent. Or if you are breaking the law as an officer then you should lose your job. I don't trust anyone anymore. I was thinking about something like this... people need to record every TSA worker as they try to violate our rights and our virginity when they x-ray rape us.

The missing part of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40268645)

A free and independent press is what is supposed to keep the police in check. The press are the eyes and ears of the citizenry. Sadly the press has failed to do this. So now we need apps like this.

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