Target: Pinetart Inc. founders Ima, Caleb, and Asha Christian
Goal: Applaud development of mobile application that allows citizens to report and rate interactions with police
In the wake of the Ferguson shooting, it has become clearer than ever that the United States needs more oversight and accountability within its local police departments. With unnecessary police violence against (minority) citizens on the rise, it is also important to note that not every department or law enforcement officer is aggressive or uses excessive force. To that end, three Georgia siblings have developed a mobile app called FIVE-O that has been likened to a “Yelp” service for police interactions. Ima, Asha, and Caleb Christian are teens who are passionate about computer science and app development, especially insofar as they can use their skills to create solutions for problems that face our increasingly tech-dependent world.
Eldest sibling Ima, who is 16, commented to Business Insider, “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…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.” FIVE-O, which debuted recently, allows users to rate and review their individual interactions with police officers, including the date and location, the officer’s race and gender, and what happened during the stop. This allows locals, media, and law enforcement to assess a collection of self-reported data on interactions and advocate for change in the way law enforcement deals with citizens. The siblings are confident that the app will encourage those who have positive interactions with police to report favorable ratings as well.
By signing this petition, you are thanking the Ima, Asha, and Caleb for working to create a robust, intuitive application for people to crowdsource opinions on local police departments across the country. You are thanking them for pursuing an accessible solution to police aggression against minority communities.
Dear Ima, Asha, and Caleb Christian,
Your FIVE-O app is an ingenious solution to the problem of the ever-increasing distance between local police departments and the communities they are intended to protect and serve. Not only is it a simple and intuitive app, but it also gives individuals a chance to report their own interactions with police to their community – and to account for variables like race, gender, and location. The opportunity to have an open discourse on their treatment by law enforcement is an invaluable tool for communities of color. This app and your message boards will provide important data to police departments and watchdog organizations and hopefully allow for a reevaluation of the way that police interact with communities.
Thank you for working toward a solution to the problem of police brutality and the separation of law enforcement officers from their communities. Thank you for putting the tools in peoples’ hands to conduct their own oversight of local police forces. I hope you will continue to create accessible solutions to community problems in our technology-focused era.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brion VIBBER via Wikimedia Commons