The following mobile apps allow you to record casual encounters and conversations you have with police officers. In a court of justice the word of a law enforcement agency is worth more than the word of a civilian, without a witnesses or a full recording of the encounter the judge will not believe you, the evidence gathered by these apps will protect you from misunderstandings.
Before recording the police, make sure that this is legal to do in your country, it will greatly vary from place to place but, as a rule of thumb, you are not normally allowed to record inside private property unless it is your own or you have permission, but you are allowed to film in the street, parks and roads.
Hands Up App: With the phone placed on your car’s dashboard, after being pulled over by the police, a single click recording button can be activated to capture video and audio of the car stop. The phone’s main window goes black after the first 10 seconds to give the impression that the phone is switched off. Videos will be tagged with GPS coordinates and they can be automatically saved online to your YoutTube or Dropbox account every 2 minutes.
I Am Getting Arrested: Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, this app can be used to broadcast an SMS message to the contact list of your choice letting them know with a single click that you are have been arrested and the GPS coordinates of where it happened. Recording of the incident is not available.
Unlawful Stop: Integrated with Google +, this app can stream live footage of your interaction with the police to Google Hangouts, placing a video call to up to 10 friends for them to be able to watch the police stop in real time. A copy of the recording can also be saved online to help out the police remembering facts when their cameras have stopped working or evidence has been accidentally destroyed. This is a paid app with prices depending on the level of features you need.
Stop and Frisk Watch: Made by the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, this mobile application can start audio recording with a single trigger on the phone’s frame. After you have been stopped by the police, an alert function will send a warning to other app users in the area to let them know of this and where it happened. Police misconduct can be reported to ACLU from within the app.
Mobile Justice: Made by ACLU in Oregon, this app captures exchanges in between police officers and community members and emails the videos directly to ACLU Oregon to preserve the evidence. Optionally, it can alert other app users nearby that a police interaction has just taken place, useful in demonstrations to ask for witnesses. The app includes a Known Your Rights legal guide for Oregon.
The SWAT App: Currently in development, this app will allow you to record police encounters with a single click and stream it live to the Internet or keep a save on the cloud. It will also have basic legal information on what your rights are when stopped by police and allow you to fill in an incident report that can be saved on your phone or send it directly to a police department using your phone’s location services.