Guide to recording the police

Recording the police is legal, and it can mean the difference between accountability for peace officers and the gross injustice of abuse with impunity.

Wired rounds up a good selection of apps from the likes of the ACLU and Occupy that are designed to help you record your interactions with the police, sometimes covertly, often with the option of real-time backup to the cloud so that your files can be recovered even if your phone is illegally seized and/or smashed. As Allesandra Ram warns, recording the cops is legal, but it isn't always safe:

It is also true that if you film a crime, you may inadvertently become part of the investigation, and may become subject to attention from police yourself.

Take, for instance, the individual who filmed the choking of Eric Garner, Ramsey Orta. Orta has been in and out of Rikers since that tragic day. Speaking with VICE, Orta, who was friendly with Garner, decided to start documenting police misconduct in the summer of 2014 around his heavily-policed neighborhood of Staten Island. But since Garner's death, Orta and his family allege that police have zeroed in on him, following close family members as well as his girlfriend. Police charged Orta with gun and drug possession as well as armed robbery. On April 6, the Free Thought Project wrote about Orta's imprisonment. His case went viral, and soon a GoFundMe campaign had collected over $54,000 to free him. Orta was released on April 10.

If an individual is already marginalized in society, or lacks resources, the implications are huge: On Thursday, for instance, Mashable reported that police had arrested a transgender woman who was filming the Baltimore protests, and then forced her to stay in a male holding cell, remove her bra, and wear men's clothing. Her bail is currently set at $100,000.

Headline: It's Your Right to Film the Police. These Apps Can Help [Alleandra Ram/Wired]