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Metro-Area Teens Develop Phone App To Rate Police

From left: Caleb, Ima, Joshua and Asha Christen
From left: Caleb, Ima, Joshua and Asha Christen
Credit Pinetart

  Looking to review a run-in with a police officer?

A few metro-Atlanta teens have developed an app for that.

Sixteen-year-old Parkview High School senior Ima Christian and her sister, 15-year-old Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology sophomore Asha, said in recent months they’ve talked with their parents a lot about the images of police brutality they’d seen on TV.As heard on the radio

Rather than just talk, Ima said her parents pushed them to “find a solution.”

After throwing their ideas on a wipe board, she said one such solution stood out above the rest.

“My brother Caleb, he’s 14, he thought that we should create an app,” she said.  

From that, the three siblings, with some help from their youngest brother Joshua, 10, used their programming knowledge to develop Five-O, an app that lets users review, rate and store details of police interactions both by region and individual officer. There’s also a section for users to learn their rights, and find local police stations.

Asha said the app isn’t just for those with negative run-ins with the law.

“Police officers do awesome things every day, and most people don’t have a place to record those events. We want them to be able to record those events on our application,” she said. 

Ima said Five-O has been in development for about six months, so it predates the issues surrounding the shooting death of unarmed-teen Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, which has touched off a national conversation about police brutality and militarization.

She said the app was inspired in part by situations that have taken place with family members, but declined to be more specific.

Mostly, Ima said she just wants to give community members a voice.

“So that’s one of the things we’ve always had in our mind, even before the Michael Brown case,” she said. 

A beta version of the app was released Monday for Android phones on Google Play. It will be available for iPhones next week.