Meet the teens who are taking on police brutality with a little digital innovation.
Inspired by the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, the three high schoolers from Decatur, Georgia, built "Five-O," a mobile app that empowers citizens "to record and store data from every encounter with law enforcement." Those incident reports can then be shared and used by the community to rate individual officers and police departments as a whole.
"We’ve been hearing about the negative instances in the news, for instance most recently the Michael Brown case, and we always talk about these issues with our parents," 16-year-old Ima Christian -- who created the app with siblings Caleb, 14, and Asha, 15 -- told Business Insider, explaining the inspiration behind the program. "They always try to reinforce that we should focus on solutions. It's important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don't we create an app to help us solve this problem."
In addition to the Yelp-like 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 she and her siblings learned to code through their involvement in online programs like MIT's +K12, Scratch and AppInventor. Ima has also taken lessons through Codecademy.
The teens are keen to note they want to focus on the good parts of law enforcement, too.
"If someone has a positive interaction with the police … for example, an officer saved your cat, or was very courteous and professional, we want people to be able to document that too," Ima told Buzzfeed. "We hope that law enforcement agencies with positive reviews can help by functioning as role models.”
WATCH a video for Five-O, below. (Warning: Unless you like police sirens, you'll probably want to mute.) You can download the app for Android devices, here. As of Sunday morning, approval from Apple's App Store was pending.
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