NYCLU’s “Stop and Frisk Watch,”
is a smartphone app designed to let observers record and report stop-and-frisks they see on the street, is a “free and innovative smart phone application that will empower New Yorkers to monitor police activity and hold the NYPD accountable,” per its description online.(video)
Stop-and-Frisk Watch works like this: A bystander with the app sees a stop-and-frisk happening on the street and triggers the app, which starts recording video. After the video recording is over, the user fills out a survey about the stop-and-frisk, which is sent to the NYCLU. A “Listen” feature also alerts users if people are being stop-and-frisked nearby.
Can an app, particularly one that depends on bystanders to care enough to download it to their phone and then put themselves in a position to record an incident really reduce stop-and-frisks, or even lead to more people reporting them, when there are hardly any official avenues to do so?