The American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) of New Jersey released an Android app called 'Police Tape' for smartphones that it hopes will help citizens "hold police accountable" by securely and discreetly recording conversations and interactions with Johnny Law.
If you happen to walk by an arrest in progress or witness what you believe might qualify as police brutality, whipping out your cell phone to record the action might result in your device being seized, or worse. This is where Police Tape comes in.
Police Tape records video and audio on the sly, with nothing on the screen to tip an officer what you're up to. The recording then goes to the ACLU-NJ for review of any civil liberties violations. Once uploaded, it's saved to an external server, so even if your cell phone is seized, police can't get rid of the evidence.
"This app provides an essential tool for police accountability," said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Deborah Jacobs. "Too often incidents of serious misconduct go unreported because citizens don’t feel that they will be believed. Here, the technology empowers citizens to place a check on police power directly."
In addition to recording audio and video, the app also informs you of your rights when you're in a car, at home, being stopped by a police offer, and when under arrest.