Teens Create Yelp-Like App to Rate Police Brutality

October 13, 2014

7:30 pm

Cases of police brutality have been making headlines and sparking debate throughout the country. A group of teens from a Georgia high school decided to launch an app aimed at changing the dynamic between law enforcement and communities called Five-O app.

The Five-O app empowers citizens to rate, review, and store the details of their interactions with local law enforcement officers. The system then aggregates all scores for a particular county or police officer and assigns by county and officer a dynamic grade for courtesy and professionalism. Citizens are also able to search incident comments by county, state, and officer identification number in order to access incident descriptions posted by other users. This provides a way to identify law enforcement departments that perform well and those which are abusive. Hopefully this will also identify abusers early in the process and help communities organize to insist on departmental review and changes.

The young minds behind the app are Caleb, Ima, and Asha Christian, three siblings from Decatur, Georgia. They programmed the app so the community can come together and input details of every interaction they have with the police officers they encounter.

“We’d like to know which regions in the US provide horrible law enforcement services as well as highlight the agencies that are highly rated by their citizens. In addition to putting more power into the hands of citizens when interacting with law enforcement, we believe that highly rated police departments should be used as models for those that fail at providing quality law enforcement services,” explained Ima.

 

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The Five-O app includes a GPS address tracker which allows a user to identify the address of their stop for future reference. All user incident reports are stored in a my account feature where users can later access relevant details for future reference.

In addition to the police rating system, the app includes a “know your rights” section, complete with information from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ima told The Atlantic’s CityLab that she and her siblings learned to code through Codecademy and their involvement in online programs like MIT’s +K12, Scratch and AppInventor.

 

 

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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