This is where PixelRights comes in. First, this app would teach the user by having current information about what your rights are as a photographer in NYC and how to interact with the police. Second, with cameras being so ubiquitous in mobile tech, your phone should be able to preserve the incident by taking pictures of a police badge (to provide record of the officer) or a police car, and uploading it to a database. When the picture is taken, location metadata is included and adds to a database that shows the frequency and location of such incidents. This would be a crowd sourced resource for the community. There would also be a way to record the audio of the incident, and upload it to a server with a timestamp. With the timestamp there would be less doubt with tampering or alteration of the incident.
To put a face on these injustices, there would be the ability to share your story. It is easy to lose sight of the people behind these numbers.
I want to focus on media (PSA's, lectures) that teaches the user what their rights are and how they can protect them. Media like Flex Your Rights videos on youtube, and current stories in the mainstream media would be available.
Since i love to experiment with cutting edge techniques AND getting the most bang for the buck, I would want this to be an HTML5 app, and not a native app. The goal should be to create a tool that is platform agnostic and not susceptible to the whims of the apple store. I don't know how it would be possible on IOS to access the camera or microphone through a webpage, so more research definitely needs to be done.Nathan Freitas wrote me great feedback and offered some interesting leads. http://openwatch.net/ and cop recorder are efforts that give the functionality of recording video and audio and uploading it to their database! The code is also open source. This is a great start. Again as Nathan pointed out, PixelRights could be "a simple cheatsheet type app with 1-2-3 guides, videos and a directory of legal aide phone numbers to call". It would help before a demonstration to review these facts.
Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic wrote about the origin of the open watch project this summer, and also describes the value of the app to collect data.
As per Nathan's suggestion, i would develop PixelRights to be an educational tool with up to date information for NYC citizens targeted by the police.