In the midst of the reeling that is the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, three young coders from Georgia have released a relevant new mobile app to rate and record the quality of police interactions.
The app is called Five-O, and it was created by siblings Caleb, Ima, and Asha Christian. Users can write a narrative account and rate their encounters with police officers, as well as compare how their community stacks up with other parts of the U.S. in terms of police efficacy. The information is then forwarded to local law enforcement. “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,” explained Ima, high school senior, in this interview. She goes on to say that:
…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.
Putting this kind of power into something we as citizens already hold in our hands (our phones) is an incredible and seemingly obvious idea, but its exactly that obviousness, the idea of collectively holding civil servants accountable, that is so radical. These kids are on to something.