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By Patricia Guadalupe

Ten organizations that focus on civil rights and other issues within communities of color are training their 200,000 members to document encounters with law enforcement or government officials.

The groups announced their broad effort Thursday, saying they are responding to what they described as an alarming number of incidences of confrontations with law enforcement and voter intimidation.

The groups believe many of the confrontations have received national attention would have remained largely unknown and out of the spotlight were it not for someone taking out a cell phone and hitting “record.”

Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) is spearheading the effort and preparing online video training material. The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) will serve as a repository of the videos.

The groups include the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Black College Communication Association, the National Congress of Black Women, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.

Kim Keenan president and CEO of MMTC said members will “lawfully document encounters with law enforcement or government officials who appear to be breaking the law, and with election-day trolls who are trying to frighten citizens from exercising their right to vote.”

Because people of color have high rates of cell phone use “now is the time to take out your cell phone and be ready to respectfully and accurately record examples of these violations of our civil rights,” Kennan said.

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