AUSTIN - The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will launch their 'ACLU Blue' mobile app on Friday.
The app is designed to take the guesswork out of police interactions and offers immediate access to users' legal rights, advice and a streaming film tool to increase visibility.
ACLU Texas Senior Policy Strategist Matt Simpson said that they constantly see cases where "the public is clamoring to figure out what happened. We're stuck with a 'he said, she said' kind of situation."
Their goal, Simpson said, is to get Texans on the app and recording any interactions they have or see between the public and law enforcement.
"Our hope is that we'll just live in a time where we don't have to debate what happened," he said. "We can debate whether the actions were appropriate or we can highlight moments where the officer did the right thing."
All video taken on the app will be stored on the user's phone, but also streamed live to ACLU-run servers where ACLU members will review the videos and post them to YouTube if they are of legitimate law enforcement interactions.
Simpson said that the tool will be useful for police accountability, but also highlighted its potential to shine a positive light on law enforcement.
"We don't keep track of non-arrest numbers, we keep track of arrest numbers," he said. "This is a whole separate world that we may or may not be capturing....This app should provide people the opportunity to say 'atta boy' for cops that do a good job as well."
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