The first murder that sparked Elizabeth Richardson's desire to intervene in police stops - before they could turn deadly.
These back-to-back murders reignited Elizabeth's call to deliver a tool anyone can use during a contact with police in hopes of saving a life. While it wouldn't have helped Arbery or Taylor, it might have made a difference for Floyd.
COVID-19 introduced video conferencing as a part of everyday life, and Black Lives Matter protests put mistreatment by police center stage nationwide.
After several months of consulting, Elizabeth invites John McCarley to join as co-founder.
On November 13, 2020, we officially incorporated DispatchJustice in Arkansas - Headquartered in Little Rock and a second office in Dallas.
We decided on a three-phased focused product roadmap after consulting with potential users, law enforcement, attorneys, community members and analyzing all the ideas on the table.
With a fully functional MVP in hand, we opened beta testing to the public.
As soon as beta testing is complete, we will first launch DispatchJustice in Pulaski County then expand into Central Arkansas.
Once we feel confident in our operations in Central Arkansas, we will open access across the state of Arkansas.
Our nationwide waiting list is open (Join It Here) and as demand grows, we will assess new markets accordingly.
In 2016, police shot and killed Philando Castile reaching for his ID. “No one should die while trying to comply with officers,” our founder said. "If a person stopped by the police could say their attorney is on the way, I’ll wait for him to arrive before I speak to you,” that it might deescalate the situation. First finding inspiration from companies like OnStar and even LifeAlert, she thought a panic button could connect a dispatcher to the caller.
Elizabeth's idea would evolve in the years following Philando Castille’s murder and the preventable deaths of too many others. Then, finally, in 2020, just as the world stopped for the COVID-19 pandemic, Elizabeth was venturing into solo practice. Protests were flaring, and she decided to share her vision with others. First, with an innovator in the legal field who loved it and validated that Elizabeth was headed in the right direction. Video messaging became part of everyday life and coincidentally made building DispatchJustice more feasible. Additionally, using video allows us to serve more members in more locations and do it safer - mitigating risks for the attorneys, members, and law enforcement.
DispatchJustice is a stop-gap to help create barriers to unnecessary entry into the criminal legal system. An employee shouldn’t miss a day of work due to a data entry error or because he/she can’t afford $1500 bail. The cost of unnecessary incarceration not only hurts society and family units but also negatively impacts the economy. Employers invest heavily in people capital to hire and train employees and shouldn’t need to hire new ones because of a broken criminal legal system.
If nothing else, DispatchJustice offers equal justice and advocacy for our members during a critical moment of need.