For Immediate Release: _Friday, November 13, 2015
Contacts: Meredith Curtis, ACLU, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-310-9946
BALTIMORE, MD - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland released the "Mobile Justice App," a powerful tool individuals can use to hold Maryland law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions, at press conferences in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. A free smart phone app, Mobile Justice will allow Marylanders to automatically record and submit cell phone videos of interactions with law enforcement to their local ACLU when they feel their rights have been violated. Similar apps have been released across the country, from New York to California, and 10 more states released apps today.
"Today, we are proud to launch the ACLU's free Mobile Justice app in Maryland," said Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland. "Hundreds of activists have reached out to us, asking for access to this powerful police accountability tool here in our state. Now, those in communities experiencing racial profiling, over-policing, and military-style policing tactics, along with their allies, can record police encounters and be assured that the recording is safe. Now, those in communities experiencing racial profiling, over-policing, and military-style policing tactics, along with their allies, can record police encounters and be assured that the recording is safe."
Mobile Justice MD is available - in English and Spanish - for use on Android and iOS phones, downloadable for free through Apple's App Store or Google Play. It was formally launched today at press conferences in Washington, D.C., where ACLU-MD joined the Nation's Capitol and Virginia affiliates, and in Baltimore at an event featuring allied activists and groups, hosted by Dr. Ken Morgan of the Urban Studies Program in the Department of Criminal Justice and Applied and Political Sciences at Coppin State University.
The app has three main functions and Know Your Rights information:
- The record button allows you to record exchanges between police officers and themselves or other community members. The audio and video files are automatically sent to the ACLU of Maryland so that evidence can't be destroyed.
- The witness function sends out an alert when police stop someone so that community members can move toward the location and document the interaction.
- The report feature gives you the option to complete an incident report and send it directly to the ACLU of Maryland for review. ACLU legal staff will review videos that are sent along with a detailed incident report.
- A Know Your Rights section - in English and Spanish - provides an overview of your rights when you are stopped by law enforcement officers.
- The notification function allows you to get news about action alerts and events on police accountability, to help you get involved in the movement for reform.