It turns out that Cell 411 Inc., the makers behind the emergency response app Cell 411 are concerned that demonstrators at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland may be assaulted and abused by police during the convention. To the dismay of many Cleveland political activists, the Cleveland Police have taken measures to handle a massive number of arrests daily. The City has plans to process up to 1,000 arrests per day, which raised eyebrows from community activists.
Cleveland also paid ahead of time $250,000 to reserve 200 extra jail rooms in the Cuyahoga County jail, according to the Republican National Committee budget.
When asked about the preparations, Calvin Williams, the Cleveland police chief said, “We don’t want anybody to trample on anybody else’s rights,” but did not clarify if he will make use of the preparations to arrest and incarcerate such a large number of people.
Virgil Vaduva, founder of Cell 411 also expressed concern at the news of police expanding their footprint: “America has a rich history of political dissent, and the heavy police presence, surveillance cameras and free speech exclusion areas are not indicators that this tradition of freedom of speech will be respected.”
Vaduva also explained how his company is planning on protecting activists during the RNC demonstrators saying, “We have created an official RNC public cell in Cleveland that anyone can join so that activists in the area can issue real-time alerts should they experience abuse at the hands of police. We have also upgraded our server capacity for live video streaming, so activists using Cell 411 can stream live video to the entire RNC cell to ensure police accountability and prevent police from erasing any evidence of abuse and wrongdoing.”
Cell 411 is a mobile app which was created to allow individuals to respond and issue emergencies to trusted friends, neighbors and family members without using 911 or involving police, making it an ideal app for activists, neighborhood watchers and others willing to participate in helping their communities stay safe without calling police.
The company also said that they are sponsoring the official video feeds from several independent journalist outfits like The Activist Post and Cop Block. Live video streams from journalists will be made available around the clock via the Cell 411 RNC cell and also social media video feeds like Facebook Live and YouTube.
Note: this article will be updated with additional information as it becomes available during the next several days. To join the RNC cell, download Cell 411, tap on Explore Public Cells and search for “RNC” to join the official cell. You will receive real time alerts and video feeds.