App Alerts You When The Police Kill Someone

Photo: Steve Meddle/REX Shutterstock.
The new app Archives + Absences consists of just two screens, but its simplicity and straightforward functionality tackle a devastatingly complex problem.

Developed by data visualization specialist Josh Begley, the app documents and maps police-related deaths in real time. Users receive push notifications whenever a civilian fatality occurs, along with the deceased person's name and the shooting location.

Since the federal government doesn't track casualties resulting from police shootings, tasering, and motor vehicle accidents, Begley relies on a crowdsourced database created by The Guardian newspaper. According to its figures, 53 people have died already from police-related violence in 2016.

The app reflects Begley's established interest in social justice-oriented technology. His past projects include Officer Involved, a compilation of Google Maps images from the sites of police killings intended to show the final landscapes victims saw before they died. Taking aim at the military, Begley's Dronestre.am tracks reported U.S. drone strikes.

Archives + Absences is available for free download in the iTunes app store.
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