"Driving While Black" : there's an app for that - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

"Driving While Black" : there's an app for that

Driving While Black is a new app that is intended for anyone of any race who feels targeted by police. Driving While Black is a new app that is intended for anyone of any race who feels targeted by police.
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

Driving While Black is a new app that is intended for anyone of any race who feels targeted by police.

The app was created by two attorneys from Oregon. Creators of the app say it will allow anyone to record a traffic stop. 

“There is an interest to know what your rights are,” co-creator Melvin Oden Orr said. 

“It's a community that's being policed instead of community policing.”

It also has sections to learn about your legal rights, best practices when you are pulled over during a traffic stop and tips to stay safe. 

People in Southern Illinois have mixed emotions about the app.

“I think I would definitely get it because there is so much going on today and you never know," SIU student, Shiara Jackson said. 

"Well I don't see how something like that could hurt,” Carbondale Racial Justice Coalition, Cathy Field said. “Except for one thing, we know from at least anecdotal evidence that when the cops stop you, you should not be fumbling for a phone, or a wallet, or a bottle of pills, or anything else, you should keep your hands on the ten and two keep them there,” she said. 

The attorneys who invented the Driving While Black app stated safety is first and they highly advise against reaching for a phone during a stop.

 They suggest if someone is interested in using the app, to mount the phone on the dashboard.

Officers state if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, don't reach for anything until the officer asks you to retrieve it. 

Also, stay in the vehicle unless your asked to get out and follow instructions from the officers.

And as far as the app, in the state of Illinois, it is against the law to record an officer during a traffic stop without his or her consent.

Cathy Field questioned whether the app is anything more than a quick fix for a larger problem.

"Trying to undo centuries of unstructural racism with something you can buy at the mall or download from the internet, does this really make any sense,” Cathy Field asked.

The Driving While Black app does have a section to submit complaints or appreciation towards law enforcement. 

It is scheduled to be available by the end of December. For more information on the app, click here.

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