What if you were stopped by police for no reason on your way to school? What if you were then frisked? What if this happened all the time? What if you felt too young and helpless to do anything about it?
In New York City, 9 out of 10 people stopped by police have been innocent. 50% of those stopped are youth (aged 14-24).
Smartphone apps are excellent ways to record and document these incidences. But what if you’re too scared or vulnerable to pull out your phone?
It’s time to empower youth with the modern tools to protect themselves against profiling and harrassment by law enforcement. Iltimas Doha--Eyebeam Student Resident--wants to make this happen!
Though the stop-and-frisk tactic is diminishing as a tool used by the NYPD, and crime rates are down this year across NYC, youth of color are still being victimized and criminalized. We can’t have more youth end up like Mike Brown or Oscar Grant.
“Perhaps the most traumatizing part is the point of realization that you have been totally disempowered. That the officer who stopped you can literally do whatever they’d like, right up to putting their hands on their sidearm, and all you do is hope and pray that this time you look light enough, look mature enough, look innocent enough, that they won't touch you. Because that’s all can be done; there is no tool or tactic you can reasonably use in these situations,” says Iltimas.
Iltimas needs your help to create a hoodie embedded with stealth technology like sensors and GPS that will record and transmit data for your own protection.
As a student of Eyebeam’s Playable Fashion After-School Program, he learned how “technology-enabled garments can create natural and seamless experiences that can thoroughly complete specific tasks, this is the beauty of the intersection fashion of technology.”
He needs your help in making this hoodie real, in helping other youth like him. Once the hoodie is produced, Eyebeam will host community workshops and events throughout New York City to teach youth how to use it and also learn other tools and methods to stay safe.
Support Eyebeam youth making risk-taking work at the cutting-edge of art and technology!