Brothas and sistas, there's an App for THAT
December 11, 2014 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Worried about being pulled over for Driving while black? No worries, there's an App for that coming, checkout the official site with video demo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (13 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What a wonderful country we live in, that such an app is needed. Feh.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:57 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

For a dedicated solution this offering from Dashcam Diaries is popular. Flex Your Rights had a contest to give away 10.
posted by phearlez at 9:32 AM on December 11, 2014

Is there any kind of app that uploads video to an online server as it shoots, so that even if the police seized your camera, everything up to that moment would still be accessible?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:42 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

A police officer's job is to serve and protect first.

Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone .
posted by Pendragon at 9:50 AM on December 11, 2014 [5 favorites]

I should share this with my co-worker, who gets pulled over for DWB at least twice a year, usually on his way to work.

Not speeding, all his lights work properly, traffic rules followed. He's a youngish black man driving a nice car so of course, he must be a drug dealer (it was worse when he drove an SUV - I think that's at least partially why he traded it.) I mean, how else would someone like him be able to afford such a vehicle? I mean, it's not possible HE'S AN ACCOUNTANT or anything, is it now.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:54 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ustream was the only cross-platform solution to that I was aware of, TFB. I am unsure if that's changed. They seem to have gone 'freemium' and it's possible you can no longer store & forward w/o charge.

The big issue, IMNSHO, is that you need something that will continue to record after it's locked against intrusion. I am not sure that's even possible with the iOS devices - I think the camera simply disengages when you lock the screen.

You don't necessarily have to, but you'd like it to keep recording even if its taken from you. I keep an app called ClearRecord on my home screen for that purpose, but it's only audio.

Personally I think if you want video for driving you should go dashcam. The result is better and you can have it set to just record all the time. It's potentially useful for other non LE stuff. Yes, someone can just grab it and destroy it. But once you cross the line into that level of deliberate I'm not sure anything is going to really help you. And it's the more banal shenanigans that I think deserve attention. There's also a potential deterrent effect for folks like louche mustacio's coworker.

If you use your hand-held device you end up dealing with maybe not having it running and not having it attached in a way that shows anything anyway. The recent supreme court decision about the cops' right to rifle through your phone is a good thing but I still wouldn't want them to put their hands on my phone when it was unlocked. Plus they can shoot you when you have your wallet or toy gun so I don't see a phone as that different. Hands free should be considered a prereq.
posted by phearlez at 10:04 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

ACLU-NJ tried to release this cloud connected app when the stuff in Ferguson started up, but it appears to be unreliable based on reviews.
posted by edbles at 10:39 AM on December 11, 2014

Ah yes, Fayetteville, where Tuesday night the Duggars and state legislators overturned an LGBTQ civil rights ordinance. Including massive vote suppression of the local university students by threatening to defund the school if they offered the usual bus transport from campus to polls.
posted by Dreidl at 10:48 AM on December 11, 2014

Yes, someone can just grab it and destroy it. But once you cross the line into that level of deliberate I'm not sure anything is going to really help you.

Perhaps a decoy dashcam with a real one hidden somewhere else in the cabin, and the video is stored deep in the car somewhere that's not easily accessible without a warrant or crowbar?
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:02 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

My point is, if they're willing to break the law by destroying your property - what difference does it make if they're supposed to have a warrant?

The extent of car searches has recently been dialed back a bit from the prior sort of carte blanche they'd been given under Terry (they might reach in there and grab a weapon) so for legal purposes it wouldn't have to be that whacko a location.

But from a practical and affordable standpoint there's not a lot of solutions you could put in place unless you seriously believed you were likely to have an issue. You're comparing $130 for a very functional solution you can install in seconds versus probably $500+ for something that would take running a lot of cables.

If you're a PoC who sees a lot of hassle and there's some payoff for you in capturing it, okay, maybe it's worth it to you. Probably there's something worth doing here for a non-profit looking to expose some BS and having some bait-type/sting cars. But really, for an individual, you'd be better off being willing to take the heat involved in making complaints (where efforts to suppress and intimidate are rampant and well-documented) and FOIAing dashcams.

Lots of ugly shit gets revealed that way already. The challenge is getting people to look at it and then getting them to see the actual racism. I see people who are totally down with the idea that cops are being shitty unwilling to believe there's anything but Playing The Race Card when the assertion is made that there's a skin color bias happening here.
posted by phearlez at 11:53 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

So is the Green Book going to make a come-back? From Wikipedia: African-American travelers faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences, ranging from white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles, to being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels, to even facing threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only "sundown towns". New York mailman and travel agent Victor H. Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book to tackle such problems and "to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trip more enjoyable."[5] From a New York-focused first edition published in 1936, it expanded to cover much of North America including most of the United States and parts of Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, including Bermuda. The Green Book became "the bible of black travel during Jim Crow",[6] enabling black travelers to find lodgings, businesses, and gas stations that would serve them along the road. Outside the African-American community, however, it was little known. It fell into obscurity after it ceased publication shortly after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed the types of racial discrimination that had made the book necessary.[
posted by beaning at 5:17 PM on December 11, 2014 [5 favorites]

beaning, I was thinking a modern Green Book would be a GPS navigation plug-in that collects data from police brutality and harassment complaints and routes the driver around hotspots. Just imagine the GPS device menu:
☐ Tolls
☐ Traffic
☐ Freeways
☐ U-Turns
☑ Racism
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:21 PM on December 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Missed opportunity: should've called the app "Warn-a-brotha"
posted by techSupp0rt at 9:47 AM on December 13, 2014

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