Misconduct Of Police Officers To Be Exposed With New Mobile App

Channing Harris, a Black native of Chicago has developed a new mobile app, “Excuse Me Officer,” which will avert unreported police misconduct cases.

Chicagoist gave the following information on the new development: As relations between police and the communities they serve continue to be a hot-button topic in Chicago, a local developer will soon unveil an app that aims to amplify citizens’ voice when it comes to police officer misconduct cases, while at the same time allowing easy-access, sortable data about officer interactions to all viewers.

The app, called Excuse Me Officer, essentially allows users to report and rate their experiences with police.

DNAinfo reports that: As a black man in Chicago and the son of a law enforcement official, Channing Harris said he’s seen both the good and bad sides of police work.

That’s why the Near West Side native is developing a Yelp-like smart phone app that allows city residents to report any interactions — good or bad — with police.

The app and website, Excuse Me Officer, will not only allow residents to report police interactions, but will also provide an interactive map of reports filed near the user’s location.

“I want to show the hero cops and the bad cops,” he said. “The media wants to focus on the bad story so much that the hero cops get ignored.”

The end product will hopefully aid in police “transparency” that will lead to better police-community relations, said Harris, whose mother is a “badged dispatcher” for the Elgin Police Department.

Newsone states that: Harris, who is Black, works with two business partners in development and promotion; Christopher Hutchinson, who serves as chief technology officer, and Mike Shaw, head of marketing.

DNAinfo further unveils that: The idea came to Harris around October 2015, when his good friend, a woman, was severely beaten by an off-duty officer. Her appendix ruptured because of the fight, but she was the only one arrested when officers showed up, Harris said.

The incident gave Harris the idea to start a Facebook page where people could report officer interactions. The Facebook page morphed into the website and app, he said.

Exposing police misconduct will help keep officers honest while informing the community about potentially bad cops, Harris said.

His website has uploaded nearly 60,000 official reports claiming police misconduct recorded since 2012, though there’s so much data that Harris said he is not sure if it all will go on the app.

Chicagoist explained some circumstances necessitating the birth of the new technology: “We might hear in the media how a three-time felon got shot, but we never hear about the officer,” Harris said. He cites Jason Van Dyke, the officer charged with the murder of Laquan McDonald, who had multiple complaints. According to his database—which he told us he created first as a Facebook page after his best friend was arrested, despite reporting her own assault—“there are officers in Englewood now who have 68 complaints and have never been punished.”

But the project is also about celebrating positive officer interactions, as well, he said. Harris and his co-founder (and former pro-basketball prospect) Mike Shaw both have family in law enforcement. And an upcoming website, set to debut on Friday, will list events at which community members can socialize with police and possibly feature a Cop of the Week award. “The blue code silence and the no-snitch rule go hand in hand,” he said. “We’re trying to weed out bad cops and promote good ones.”

DNAinfo narrates that: haring stories of good or heroic police work will show police that the community does appreciate their help. With both elements, Harris said he hopes his app can be a “win-win” for police and the public.

“We want documentation of the really good interactions,” Harris said. “If someone does happen to shoot someone on the job, we can look at the data and say, ‘Well, is he a good cop or a bad cop?'”

Sharing stories of good or heroic police work will show police that the community does appreciate their help. With both elements, Harris said he hopes his app can be a “win-win” for police and the public.

“We want documentation of the really good interactions,” Harris said. “If someone does happen to shoot someone on the job, we can look at the data and say, ‘Well, is he a good cop or a bad cop?'”

The reports made on the app do not count as official police misconduct reports, which must be made to the Independent Police Review Authority. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability will soon replace IPRA, though a timeline for its replacement is unknown.

But Harris said he hopes the Chicago Police Department uses the app as a tool to gauge its standing in some communities.

Newsone sheds light on the success of the app: The app recently placed first at South Side Pitch, a competition hosted by the University of Chicago’s Law School. As winners, the group received $4,000 in seed money.

DNAinfo informs that: hough the app won’t be launched until Dec. 5, the beta version of the website is live and is collecting reports, Harris said.

To gain customers, Harris and his partners had to think outside the box. They visited the Cook County Criminal Courthouse and Jail to introduce the platform to people who’ve likely had recent interactions with police, he said.

But Harris is also reaching out to people who support police and want to see the police-community relationship repaired. His team is hosting an event on Nov. 5 at De La Salle Institute, 3434 S. Michigan Ave., which will serve as marketing event but also a forum for police and the community to interact, Harris said.

“It will allow police to interact with the people their protecting,” he said. “We’re talking to police about this. We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback.”

To make it profitable, Harris will sell ad space on the app, mostly to lawyers. That way, those who have had run-ins with the law will have an idea where to turn for help.

It’s all part of Harris’s mission to create a profitable business that works toward social progress, he said.

He also said he hopes to take the idea nationwide, but said he chose to launch in Chicago for a particular reason.

“Chicago probably needs it the most,” he said. “I don’t know if there would be the same amount of passion [in the project] if I didn’t know it was so needed here.”

This is another good initiative from a Black entrepreneur. Cops in America just hate to see Black people live hence their constant and unwarranted brutalities unleashed on them. They will stop at nothing to kill Blacks hence the need for such mechanisms to bring their evil deeds to light. This will help reduce Chicago police misconduct cases.

We are proud of Harris and his team for the display of intelligence and smartness. Black businesses are gradually gaining grounds in our country and this will help shape the economy of the Black community. We are the ones to help build our lives! America doesn’t really care about us.

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