Studies show that driving while Black can lead to racial profiling and even death. In fact, according to research conducted by Nature Human Behaviour, Black drivers are 20 percent more likely to experience a run-in with law enforcement once they get behind the wheel.
To combat unlawful traffic stops and other emergencies, activist Mbye Njie founded Legal Equalizer, a mobile app that allows users to record encounters with police officers, immigration officers, or active shooters. Once a user downloads the app, they can connect Legal Equalizer to a Zoom account, which automatically begins to capture the interaction once prompted.
I first got the idea for @legaleqapp 6 years ago right around this time. We had just witnessed the death of Eric Garner and than we read about the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson shortly after. We immediately saw protests similar to the protests that we see today. https://t.co/k7Q6U7v3KX
— Pat “Ain’t Nobody Here To See You Otis” Beverly (@mnjie) August 24, 2020
In addition, Legal Equalizer lets the user notify up to five loved ones in real-time, alerting them of where the incident is taking place. What’s more, the app provides access to information on legal rights and on-the-spot legal advice from professionals.
The development of Legal Equalizer was the result of Njie’s own experiences with police as well as Ferguson, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.
“In December of 2014, I got pulled over three times within a week-and-a-half,” the Davidson College graduate told Moguldom. “I knew I needed to do something about it. Basically, I started with the general idea of recording encounters as they happen, because every time I got pulled over, I would always text my mother with the location of where I was pulled over.”
Learn about the Legal Equalizer app and know your rights! #blacktech #SocialJustice #racialjustice #policeBrutality #legalequalizer #iknowmyrights #freeapp #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/5mXPYeM9j8
— Legal Equalizer® (@legaleqapp) January 22, 2018
Through this innovation, Njie not only aims to save lives but also educate Black people on how to get involved and ways to help fight injustices.
“We think these issues are only big in America,” he said. “It’s actually a global human rights issue around the world. I would like to see us helping users in Latin America and Africa too.”
Njie continues to improve the product by raising money from individuals and through pitch competitions. If you’d like to contribute to social change, donate here.