The days of being helpless in cases of racial profiling could be on the way out if Mbye Njie has anything to do with it.
According to The Huffington Post, the 34-year-old insurance salesman is developing an app called ?Legal Equalizer? that aims to decrease unnecessary stops, searches and arrests that many people of color have experienced at the hands of the police. In its description, the publication reports that Legal Equalizer ?records individuals? encounters with police, assesses the individual?s offense and educates them on their rights.?
Njie?s?s intent to create ?Legal Equalizer? came after the death of Michael Brown in August 2014. In his eyes, Njie believes video evidences could make a huge difference in many racial profiling cases. As a result, Njie, who has personally experienced racial profiling by police, started work on ?Legal Equalizer? this spring.
?It?s funny how everybody always wants to believe the officer,? Njie told the Post while expressing hope that ?Legal Equalizer? will prevent officers from getting away with abusing their power. ?I thought about every time you go to traffic court, you go to court, the word of the officer?s testimony is almost seen as solid gold and there?s no way the police could ever tell a lie. That?s weird. Nobody has anything to counter that.?
At this time, ?Legal Equalizer? is not complete. But that hasn?t stopped Njie from planning to equip it with the ability to record an encounter with police as soon as it opens and display the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unnecessary searches. In addition, the Posts notes that the app will include an S.O.S. button that sends the video and the user?s location to three preselected contacts once the app closes.
Looking at the Sandra Bland case, Njie admits the S.OS. feature was inspired by the infamous dash cam video of her arrest.
?If her mom and sister had that video on Friday when she had got arrested, they could go to that department, social media and whoever else and I don?t think she would be in jail for three days,? he told the Post, adding that the ?Legal Equalizer? app is a ?necessity? for folks when dealing with the police.
Putting a light on the plight of black drivers, the Post referenced the Washington Post, which stated that black drivers were about 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers in 2011. the newspaper adds that nearly five percent of black people polled said they weren?t given a reason why they were stopped.
?This isn?t new: young black men and women being pulled over by the police for suspicious circumstances,? Njie said while acknowledging that the pull overs often lead to unlawful searches and arrests. ?What can now stop [America] from having 25 percent of the world?s prison population? If people know the laws.?
Looking down the road, Njie has hopes of expanding ?Legal Equalizer? to challenge the entire justice system. To get things rolling, he has established a GoFundMe campaign that is looking to raise $25,000 to develop the app.
Thus far, Njie has raised a little over $3,000, with a family friend promising to match whatever he earns. By late September, Njie wants to release a fully functioning product for iPhone and Android. Although it hasn?t been decided on how much to charge for Legal Equalizer, the Post reports that developers won?t let the price go over $1.99.
For Njie, the time is right for ?Legal Equalizer? to make an impact with those who need it.
?There?s not a single app right now that does what we?re doing,? he said. ?We want the power to be put back in the hands of the people so they know the laws at all times and just know they have that peace of mind to know your loved one or friend knows where am I when I get pulled over.?
For more from?Njie about ?Legal Equalizer,? check out the video below: