VIDEO: Arizona ACLU shows new app to report racial profiling allegations

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona recently unveiled a new campaign and smartphone app focused on documenting Arizonans’ alleged complaints of police racial profiling.

The campaign, called United Against 1070, will use a new smartphone application, online forms, an interactive map and a telephone hotline to catalog and track cases where people believed they were racially profiled by officers from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and other departments.

Alessandra Soler, executive director of ACLU-AZ, said the campaign will compile public documentation of Section 2(B) of Senate Bill 1070, popularly known as the “show me your papers” provision.

“We believe it is impossible to enforce SB 1070 without using race,” Soler said.

Soler said Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies are detaining immigrants involved in traffic violations for longer than necessary, in some cases checking their immigration status and contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Police should not be detaining people for one minute more than it would take to issue a citation,” she said.

According to Soler, ACLU-AZ has fielded more than 6,000 calls from people saying they were detained for prolonged periods of time, some of whom were legally in the country. Sixty of those cases are currently highlighted by United Against 1070 on their website, she said.

ACLU-AZ Immigrant’s Rights Coordinator Dulce Juarez said a team of members from several Latino rights groups has worked since last December to develop the campaign.

ACLU-AZ partnered with app developer company OpenWatch to create a smartphone app called ‘ACLU-AZ STOP SB 1070,’ Juarez said. The app provides information on people’s rights and allows those who feel racially profiled by police to anonymously report their case to ACLU-AZ.

“People are going to be able to document abuses and submit them right to us,” Juarez said.

The app is available to download from the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android phones.

The United States Supreme Court upheld Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070 on June 2012 and was looking for more evidence of racial profiling by police, Soler said, adding that on-the-ground documentation efforts and use of the app will allow ACLU-AZ to look for patterns to later report in court.

Juarez also debuted an interactive map where people can view and and read about racial profiling cases highlighted by ACLU-AZ. Testimony videos available on United Against 1070’s website were shown at the conference.

Soler confirmed the campaign’s partnership with Latino rights group Promise Arizona and Spanish radio station Radio Campesina.

“The majority of our listeners are affected by S.B. 1070,” said Victor Gamiz, representative for Radio Campesina.

In addition to United Against 1070’s online tools, Juarez will be training a group of volunteers to hold “Know Your Rights” forums throughout Arizona.

NBC Latino first reported this story last week. Read it here:

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