Two days before Easter, 2016, I had an awesome time at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA seeing my friend at a concert. He then invited me over to his house. We drank and played music until dawn. It was the most beautiful night of a very difficult year. Six weeks before, my grandfather, whom I loved dearly and had left my career in California to care for, finally succumbed to Alzheimer’s and stopped breathing.
The day after the concert, I was scheduled to organize a voter registration event in Harrisburg with another buddy. Late at night after it was over and I was getting ready to leave, a woman friend asked if I would come with her to a party she was invited to. I agreed to go because she didn’t know the man who asked her, and I wanted her to be safe. That’s the last thing I remember.
I awoke from a coma in a world-class trauma center. I had no memory of how I got there. They told me a man had smashed the back of my skull with a cinderblock. Half my skull was gone from emergency surgery. I was deaf where he struck me. There was dried blood running from my ear and a feeding tube in my stomach. It took me days to learn how to eat without choking. They kept feeding me through the tube until it became infected and hurt terribly. I had lost 20% of my body weight and my muscles had atrophied. I had, and still have, insomnia, PTSD, memory loss, and seizures.
Over months, I learned to eat, talk, and walk again. I fought the depression stemming from the damage to my brain. The officer who first arrived at the scene said she was sure I wouldn’t make it.
When I arrived at trial a year later with my family, I was told the man who attacked me would represent himself. When he walked into court, I was surprised he was 6'8”, 280 lbs. I had no memory of his face, but I was told this was the man who invited my friend to the party.
After my friend’s testimony, I was called to the stand. My assailant asked if I remembered him.
“No, clearly not.”
“So you can’t be sure that I really did this,” he said.
“No, but all the circumstantial and physical evidence points towards you.”
The police found him at the scene of the crime covered in my blood with my money in his pocket.
Though this man had threatened to rape my friend after he assaulted me, was covered in my blood, and had my money in his pocket, he was found not guilty. A known violent felon’s word against a mountain of physical evidence and my friend’s testimony. “He said, she said.” For the first time in my life, I lost faith in the goodness of humanity.
At that moment, I decided to never let this happen to someone else. Had there been a shred of video or audio evidence to disprove his story, he would be in jail today.
Why in the 21st century do we not stream footage from our devices to 911 during an emergency call? I am not reinventing the wheel. Zeer leverages technology in smartphones to protect you and the people you love. When activated, Zeer streams to the cloud, your emergency contact, and calls the police. We also use blockchain technology to make that data impervious.
I have dedicated my life to solving this problem. We will not end violent crimes like rape in our lifetimes. But with common sense, burning desire, and evolving technologies we can mitigate it by 95%. By prosecuting more violent crimes with indisputable evidence, over time, those crimes will become less frequent. When my nieces begin college in 9 years, I want to know they are safe from sexual assault. I will never quit until we have made it possible for you or I to no longer fear people we don’t know. I want to trust people again. I need your help.
- Adam David Jones, CEO and Founder of Zeer, www.zeersafe.com