Davidson College alum creates Legal Equalizer app


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – It was a private expertise that led to an app that’s utilized by 375,000 individuals.

Mbye Njie says he desires to carry individuals accountable.

It’s why the Davidson Faculty alum launched Authorized Equalizer in 2015.

It’s a reside digital camera and alert system individuals can use after they’re stopped by regulation enforcement.

Njie says it isn’t only for drivers. It protects police, too.

It’s that sort of pondering that earned him Davidson’s inaugural “Innovator in Residence” title.

The school is giving him a $75,000 grant to develop his enterprise and rent two Davidson college students.

He’ll spend the subsequent yr mentoring college students to search out modern options to issues.

Jamie Boll talked to Njie concerning the inspiration behind his enterprise.

Mbye: The thought took place after Ferguson occurred in 2014. I grew up in Macon, Georgia. I went to Inside Metropolis Excessive Faculty, in all probability 85% African American. Then I went to Davidson Faculty – exact opposite. When Ferguson occurred, I used to be taking a look at my social media and my highschool associates had been asking, “What did the law enforcement officials do to not de-escalate the scenario, to escalate the scenario?” Whereas my faculty associates had been asking, “What did Mike Brown do to get himself killed?” And so it was whole sides. The entire time, asking, “How come no one had a digital camera to report it?” Like we had recording gadgets on our telephone already that point. That’s why I simply saved on pondering, this could have stopped the entire argument that we had on what occurred, he stated, she stated, if we had video. In order that’s once I initially had the concept.

Jamie: And also you’ve handled this your self.

Mbye: Yeah, I’ve been stopped, pulled over, talked to about police in all probability 115, 120 plus instances in my life. And truly, that’s a part of motive the app even got here into fruition. After that Mike Brown factor, three months later, in December 2014, I received stopped thrice. I reside in Atlanta now. However I received stopped thrice in every week and a half in Atlanta. First time was my very own neighborhood. The officer stopped me actually solely to ask me what I used to be doing. I confirmed him my ID, “Oh, you reside right here, you’re free to go.”

Jamie: I’ve by no means had that have. Somebody that appears like me, lots of us, haven’t had that have. What’s it like when that’s taking place? How afraid are you? I imply, how annoying is it?

Mbye: To at the present time, I’m afraid once I see a cop automotive get behind me. I imply, I begin sweating. My palms are a bit of shaky. And I do know I’ve finished nothing mistaken. That’s the humorous factor. Each time I drive, I’m like, okay, cool. I’m utterly clear. I’ve received my insurance coverage updated, my license updated, no excellent warrants, no tickets, nothing. And I’m nonetheless simply nervous or afraid since you don’t know what may occur.

Jamie: So clarify how the app works. You get stopped and what? You simply open up the app?

Mbye: Yep. So that you get stopped, you’ll be able to open it up by voice or you’ll be able to simply open it up. If you first go online, it asks you to your contacts and we ask you to select five-plus individuals which might be trusted members of the family, associates that you already know would reply your calls in an emergency. So while you open up now you hit that textual content message, it says “Assist”. And it says “I need assistance for…” and it’s received police cease, home violence, immigration, energetic taking pictures, or normal emergency. So that you hit “police cease”, and it tells them, I’ve been stopped by the police, my location is such and such, so it’s getting the situation and it offers them a Google pinpoint to allow them to go there in the event that they need to, and says for those who don’t hear from me within the subsequent half-hour, please name the division of this space. Then we give the choice both report that encounter, or they will hit that reside button the place now it sends one other textual content to individuals and as quickly as they hit it, they’re now on that reside name and so they can see what’s happening, the individual can see them as nicely.

Jamie: So audio and video, you select?

Mbye: Proper. We even have legal guidelines throughout the app as nicely. So we have now legal guidelines for all 50 states from gun legal guidelines, reckless driving, marijuana, DUI legal guidelines. We’re engaged on extra native ordinances. So I’ve received some college students from Davidson this summer season which might be getting Charlotte ordinances, so why individuals truly get stopped of their native cities and cities, so individuals can get extra knowledgeable about that as nicely.

Jamie: So mainly, you’re saying if I get pulled over, and it’s for motive x, I can search for and see what my rights are on this?

Mbye: Yeah, that’s the purpose. And in addition the purpose is within the subsequent couple of months, we’re gonna have attorneys as nicely you could now name in real-time, and so they can be part of that decision and listen to precisely why you bought stopped.

Jamie: Is that just about your model of physique digital camera?

Mbye: Yup, it’s.

Jamie: And for law enforcement officials who’re listening to this or marvel, are you out to get them, that form of factor, what would you inform them?

Mbye: I inform them, I’ve received police departments which have endorsed the app. I’ve spoken for police departments for six years now. I didn’t need them to suppose it was anti-policing. It was pro-accountability. I inform them a few issues. One, this app is protected for law enforcement officials as a result of persons are much less more likely to hurt you if their mother or dad or watching them on a reside video. And two, if one thing did occur to you, we even have video now that’s going that can assist you seize no matter occurred. And three, we all know individuals additionally do make up tales and lie about what occurs with police encounters. So in the event that they do this now, it’s not simply your physique digital camera, we will even have video that claims hey, this individual did lie. So, for those who’re an ideal officer who’s doing all of your job and pulling me over dashing, offers me a ticket and says have an ideal day, this ought to be the best factor for you. You need to be completely happy, “Hey, Mother, Dad, your son was dashing, I’m giving him a ticket and I need him to decelerate. Have an ideal day.” It’s that easy and that’s all we’re asking for.

Jamie: Are you shocked by the response you’ve been attending to this factor?

Mbye: To be trustworthy, it sounds sort of cocky, however no. I knew I had one thing early on. It was a intestine feeling, hey, this must preserve happening. And each time I wished to stop, one thing else would occur and be like right here’s new momentum to maintain you going.

Jamie: Simply goes to point out you simply want the concept.

Mbye: Yeah, simply don’t be afraid to fail. For those who put your coronary heart and energy and keep decided, likelihood is you’ll succeed.

This app has one other essential function.

Mbye says it may be used for home abuse victims to alert individuals to one thing happening.

“It’s for home violence, sexual assaults,” Mbye stated.

We spoke to some teams of home violence survivors, and one of many issues they talked about was that when they’re in these conditions in the event that they attempt to make a name or one thing, it triggers the abuser typically as a result of they’re like “You’re calling the police?”

So that is the place you’ll be able to hit a silent button.

Our message for that one is, hey, I’m in a home violence scenario. For those who don’t hear from me the subsequent 60 seconds, name 911. Right here’s my deal with. And you are able to do that silently had been it then sends it to that very same group of individuals.

Mbye’s purpose is to get to 1 million downloads by the tip of the yr.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.



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