Image Source: Google Images – A police officer standing in his bomb-proof vehicle.
Twenty-nine-year old Duncan Kirkwood says he was scared the night police stopped him as he was on his way from Montgomery, Alabama to Charlotte, North Carolina. But thank God that nothing major happened during the incident. Kirkwood says, at that moment, he came up with the idea for ‘HandsUp 4 Justice,’ an application that can secretly record interactions with police officers.
Image Source: HandsUp 4 Justice – Startup screen of the application.
“You know, I am a black man who grew up in the inner city. I know that when the police pull you over it is going to be a bad day. I realized that I should not have to be afraid of the police. If I break a traffic law, I should get a ticket and that’s it. I should not have to be worried about getting dragged out of the vehicle, being shot, getting electrocuted via a stunt gun and just have the officer’s word against me,” Kirkwood said in an online interview.
Image Source: HandsUp 4 Justice – Camera screen for recording the event(s).
He says he saw some online videos before he wrote the program, but he finally figured out how to address these issues with the new app he created with the help of his brother and sister. He says it was released in the Google Play Store at the beginning of this year and will soon be available in the Apple AppStore.
Below are the instructions on how HandsUp 4 Justice works:
- Once pulled over by the police officer, turn on the app, click front facing camera and begin recording. The best position for this is to place the phone on the dashboard between the windshield and middle of dashboard with slight tilt towards the driver’s side window. By using the forward facing camera you can see that the camera is positioned correctly right before the screen goes black.
- Once you begin video recording, you will have 10 seconds before the app goes black (but the app is STILL recording). This feature is to protect you from police that might take or destroy your phone.
- If you are pulled over at night, turn on your overhead light so that encounter with police can be seen.
- This app uses the GPS feature on your phone and will GEO tag each video.
- Create a YouTube channel and log into it on your phone. This feature will automatically save videos every 2 minutes of recording. It will save to your app, your device, your Dropbox and can be uploaded to YouTube.
- Download the Dropbox app and set your device to automatically save pictures and videos to your Dropbox account and share the accounts information with your emergency contact so they too have access to the video.
- Please enter emergency contact information. Every time a video is uploaded, it will send a text message to your contact notifying them a video has been uploaded to Dropbox.
- This app will work to publicize all peaceful protests and demonstrations across the nation. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] with the upcoming protests and demonstrations.
Image Source: HandsUp 4 Justice – Settings page of the application.
Furthermore, please make sure that you have an up to date driver’s license, registration and insurance information. Try to be polite and try not to make any sudden movements. Always comply with the officers’ request. If you are carrying a weapon do tell them. Also, tell them that this entire stop being recorded. Ask the officer his complete name and his badge number and reason for the stop. If they say you fit the profile of the suspect in the area, ask them what that description is. And lastly do not be a jerk to the officer.
“God forbid if something bad happens to someone, it won’t be another Mike Brown situation because there will be video evidence to show exactly what happened. Think of it like having insurance: it is better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it. We think that this will be a game changer. It is giving the power back to individuals, and allowing for accountability in all kinds of different situations. For instance: if the next week, the same officer does something else, and that is also caught on tape, then you will be able to see a pattern and the departments are going to start telling their people to stop abusing their authority. When people start to learn or assume they are being videotaped, most times they will change their behavior and do what’s right,” said Kirkwood, justifying his thoughts and application.