The world has been calling for changes to extreme police brutality in the US and the infrastructures and systems that allow for it to happen unchecked, and while some states and their mayors have provided some concessions to demands of the police force being held accountable for their actions, protestors and advocates calling for the defunding of the police are understandably asking for their leaders to do more. While negotiations and new measures are being implemented, an anonymous organization called Police Accountability Now (PAN) has rolled out its PAN protocol with the aim of facilitating safe and anonymous police misconduct reporting.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain network and IFPS, the platform will allow whistleblowers to file their complaints against police officers in the US for their miscreancy and misconduct without fear of retaliation or having their identities exposed. The PAN protocol hopes to slowly erase the practice of keeping silent on the illegal and immoral actions of police officers.
“We hope to enable police – who know the “blue wall of silence” is keeping malicious or violent officers safe – to report the misdeeds of their colleagues without worrying about destroying their career prospects. We hope to make it clear to police officers that they cannot commit crime or other atrocities and hide behind a badge with a strong union contract – the people will be able to see every single misconduct report filed against them, ever,” the post reads.
For now, the system relies on having an accurate and up-to-date database on the profiles of active police officers across police departments from 23 major states, which includes verified names and police badge IDs.
The project has not yet gained a following and it remains to be seen, firstly if the platform manages to successfully collect the data it needs and secondly, if citizens or even other police officers are willing to step forward and file complaints, even under the protection of a blockchain protocol such as this. Aside from providing the necessary technology safeguards to protect whistleblowers, this is a more complex undertaking as it is not solely a tech issue, but a social and emotional one where fear has long been systematically trained into individuals when faced with the police.
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