CopBlock Develops App To Live-Stream Citizen Videos Of Police Encounters


A national cop-watching website is working on a new app that would broadcast citizen cellphone videos of police encounters as they happen, a new platform experts say could expand and complicate how the public records officers at crime scenes, the Boston Herald reports. “There have been too many times a cop (sees a phone recording video and) says, 'That's evidence, I'm going to take it.' And then they hold it while you jump through legal hoops. … That isn't possible with live streaming,” said Ademo Freeman, 33, a New Hampshire resident and founder of “You can see these things evolving in the private sector. You can see new media producing that content, adapting it and utilizing it,” he said. “That's the benefit of live streaming. You can get the information out really quickly.”

Freeman said he's working on an app that could take so-called live-streamed video, plug it into a server at and blast it out on blogs and elsewhere throughout his site, which draws more than 3 million page views a month. He believes it adds a new dimension to the growing debate on private citizens filming police actions. For one thing, he said, the specter of live streaming changes the dynamic on the scene. There have been times, for instance, when officers question whether he's recording. “ 'No, I'm live streaming, and 358 people are watching you right now.' I found that has changed their demeanor,” Freeman said, adding that the options for live streaming have exploded to include apps such as LiveStream, ­UStream and Bambuser. “YouTube is starting to dabble in live-stream capabilities,” he said. CopBlock, which Freeman described as a “decentralized organization,” has offshoots throughout the country, with more than 250 groups involved.

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