OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Draw Attention While Being Arrested

In some situations, drawing attention to a crime might deter the event from proceeding further. Attention can also emphasize that the arrest is illegal and create more eyes/witnesses to the event and people participating in it.

Photo of DeletedUser
1 2

Written by DeletedUser

Occupy Wall Street has really put a spotlight on police/authority actions and tactics, especially negative ones, while demonstrators have tried to emphasize and utilize peaceful methods themselves.

I was inspired by an open letter to the Dallas police, part of which reads:
"5) Observers will be dispersed throughout the crowds with whistles. If an officer is seen acting inappropriately or in any way violating our rights, a whistle will be blown ordering our protesters to immediately sit on the ground quietly so the officer can be identified and his actions observed."
(Full letter here:

A low-tech, wearable system of sound and lights could be used to draw attention to illegal arrests while they are happening. For example, a Bluetooth-like headset could be linked up to a small sound amplifier so that the person being arrested can locally broadcast his/her name, rights, contact information (eg. Amnesty phone #), etc. Any bystander could then have the info to help. It also announces that the person being arrested knows his/her rights, and is publicly condemning the act and the people involved in the arrest.

What kind of resources are needed to get this idea off the ground and/or support it over time?

-- People to develop the technology/put together the system; I think a lot of micro/pico-tech already exists, but it needs to be integrated into one system -- Networks to distribute and promote the system, perhaps make it available to individuals/groups beyond organizations. It could be possible to add value to the system beyond use in dangerous contexts, so that not only people who can anticipate being at risk will use it. -- Money to subsidize the tech, make it low-cost/free

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Meena Kadri

Interesting thoughts sparked by current events, Yen!