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Pilot Program Allows Brooklyn Center Residents Free Access To App That Connects Drivers To Attorneys

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Its founders call it an "app to bridge the gap."

Turnsignl connects drivers to lawyers in real time during traffic stops to de-escalate the situation, inform drivers of their rights and get everyone home safe.

WCCO's Erin Hassanzadeh checked in with the Turnsignl team almost a year after reporting on the app in the wake of the Daunte Wright shooting.

Co-found and CEO Jazz Hampton says that well over 1,000 people in Minnesota currently have the app, and every interaction counts.

"At 1:37 a.m. we had someone pulled over...and there was an attorney on the phone with driver before the officer was even at that window," Hampton said. "The law enforcement officer even looked into the camera to address the attorney, and the camera stayed on and the interaction was really healthy."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is partnering with Turnsignl following a string of deadly encounters between drivers and police officers in the Twin Cities.

Thousands in the city of Brooklyn Center, the city were Wright was fatally shot during a traffic stop, can now use the app for free. It's part of a pilot program that could be expanded to other cities.

"In the aftermath of the killing of Daunte Wright, the community came together and they wanted to have a more community-led response," said Bukata Hayes, vice president of racial health and equity at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

For the team at Turnsignl, it's important for them to be in the community.

According to Hampton, some employers offer Turnsignl as a benefit. The Minnesota Vikings also contributed money to pay for people who can't afford the app. It's all part of the push to get everyone home safe.

"We believe that there can be something better, and we want to work toward that something better," Hayes said. "The mission is to do something about the public health crisis of racism."

The Brooklyn Center pilot program goes until the end of the year. All residents have to do is download the app and show that they live in Brooklyn Center.

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