New iPhone Shortcut Makes It Easy to Record Police Stops
Working in an app called Shortcuts, Robert Peterson of Arizona created the “Police” shortcut in September and shared it on Reddit. Shortcuts uses Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri to quickly initiate custom actions that can involve multiple apps.
With the Police” shortcut, you can simply say, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.” At this point, the shortcut will stop audio that’s playing, reduce screen brightness, and activate the phone’s “Do Not Disturb” mode. It will also send a text notification to a contact you’ve designated.
The front camera then turns on to record your encounter with police. After you stop recording, a copy of the video will be saved and sent to your contact and the phone’s other functions will resume.
Petersen says he wants his shortcut to help ensure safety and honesty during all traffic stops. He says it could potentially serve as a civilian version of police body cameras.
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“It’s one of those things where 99.9% of the time you won’t ever need it, but for the 0.1% it could be a very huge help to have a recording of an improper police interaction,” Petersen said to CBS News.
Petersen’s shortcut joins a number of apps designed specifically for police stops. The American Civil Liberties Union created one called ACLU Blue that lets you record encounters and post them on a YouTube channel. A Google app called I’m Getting Arrested lets you send out a customized message if you’re being detained.
According to the ACLU, it’s legal to record police in public as long as you’re there lawfully. Officers can’t delete what you’ve recorded. They also can’t confiscate it without a warrant.
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