Three high schoolers from Decatur Georgia are using digital technology to aid in the fight to end police brutality in their and many other communities.
Spurred to do something positive amidst the social unrest in Ferguson, MI, 16 year old Ima Christian and siblings Asha, 15 and Caleb, 14, built “Five-O” a mobile app that allows users to record and store data from any experience they may encounter with law enforcement officials. The incident reports can then be shared with community members, who can then rate individual officers and whole departments.
When asked of their reasons for creating the app, the teens responded, “[Our parents] tried to reinforce that we should always focus on solutions, especially during times of negativity. It’s important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don’t we create an app to help us solve this problem.”
In addition to the rating and information sharing, the app also offers a “know your rights” section, which includes information from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Christian siblings learned coding through their involvement in online programs like MIT’s +K12, Scratch and AppInventor, all programs aimed at educating the youth on technological skills to prepare them for future careers.
These three are also quick to note that the app is not intended to merely “police bash” or speak on negative encounters with police officers, but to also highlight and applaud those officers who create positivity within the community.
Check out a video of the app below. This is a great tool to not only make sure you know your rights, but help you document anything that needs to have a record regarding law enforcement officials, both good and bad.