Sandra Bland, Zachary Hammond, Michael Brown – the past year has seen a rush of incidents that build a wall between law enforcement and citizens. The North American public is now more wary of police than ever and we’re beginning to wonder, will it ever end? MBye Nije, an entrepreneur from Atlanta, is creating Legal Equalizer, an app that will help citizens protect themselves and be better prepared when encountering police.
This app is currently funding on GoFundMe – if you support this idea, I urge you to support the team with a donation.
Legal Equalizer begins recording the moment you launch it, capturing audio and video of the entire interaction. When the app is closed, a link to the recording is automatically sent to your emergency contacts so other people have a record of exactly what happened.
Know your legal rights
When Sandra Bland was stopped, she stayed in the car because she thought it was her right, leading her to be arrested – and ultimately resulting in her death. When launched, Legal Equalizer displays a list of your rights based on your GPS location, equipping you with legal knowledge at a glance.
The moments before you are approached when pulled over often aren’t long enough for you to text people about it, let alone tell them your whereabouts. Legal Equalizer’s SOS button sends texts alerting your emergency contacts that you’ve been pulled over, and include a timestamp and your location to ensure that those closest to you know where and when you were pulled over.
These three simple things can make all the difference when you find yourself in a situation with law enforcement. Nije cites Ferguson as the inspiration for Legal Equalizer, because the events were disputed due to a lack of recording or information on the incident. Legal Equalizer promotes more positive interactions with police and prepares citizens with the right resources to protect themselves during and after an encounter. “We want the power to be back in the hands of the people,” Nije says in a video explaining the app, “so they know the laws at all times and just know they have that peace of mind.”
This is an inspiring example of technology being used in a positive and impactful way. Again, if this interests you, you can support Nije and his team with a donation on GoFundMe. It’s not often that I personally endorse funding campaigns on this blog, but I truly believe that Legal Equalizer has the power to make a difference at an individual level.
The image used in the header of this post is a compilation of images from the dashcam footage of Sandra Bland’s arrest.