Sick of being stopped by the cops Black man designs app to combat racial profiling

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A Black man in North Carolina became so fed up with being stopped by the police that he developed an app to combat racial profiling.

Mbey Njie, a 36-year-old tech entrepreneur, created a smartphone app called “Legal Equalizer,” according to the Charlotte Observer. The app was designed to help you understand your rights and it alerts selected contacts in your phone that you’ve been stopped by a police officer. It also features a built-in video feature which uses your phone’s camera to record the interaction and the video is automatically saved to the app, preventing it from being deleted directly from your cellphone.

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Njie wants to help people who may be confused about what their rights are when they are stopped by the police. While laws vary by state, Njie’s smartphone app will help you learn what you need to know.

Njie, told the Observer that the app was created out of frustration as a black man in North Carolina and Georgia, who was frequently pulled over for minor traffic infractions.

While a college student at Davidson College Njie said, “If you went off campus 10 times, every four to six times, as a young black male, you’re going to get pulled over by a police officer from the town of Davidson. Most times, they would try to search your car and ask you questions.”

Njie said he still encounters the same racial profiling situations by police in Georgia.

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He launched the first version of the Legal Equalizer app in 2015, a year after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. and the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter took center stage. At that time the app was marketed largely as a police watchdog tool.

Putting the app into action

In late 2016, after launching Legal Equalizer to combat racial profiling, sent out a tweet criticizing Dr. Cedric Alexander, then DeKalb County’s director of public safety in Georgia.

Alexander, who is also Black, responded to Njie: “Find a way to make a difference and not just complain. Get on the resolution train.”

Alexander later gave Njie his phone number and offered to meet.

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In their meeting, Njie showed him the Legal Equalizer app and explained how it worked. Njie says that Alexander, who is now deputy mayor of Rochester, N.Y., supports the Legal Equalizer app as a citizen education tool. But, Alexander still cautions against people using the app to go back and forth and argue about the laws with police officers.

In addition to combatting racial profiling, Njie hopes to broaden the app’s tools to be useful for victims of domestic violence and people targeted by immigration officers, according to the Observer.