‘Siri, I’m getting pulled over’: iPhone shortcut records police encounters

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice, many iPhone users are finding new ways that their cellphones can help keep them safe.

A new shortcut prompts iPhone cameras to automatically start recording along with up to 18 other actions simultaneously.

The shortcut must first be set up. Then, when users say, “Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” the phone’s front-facing camera begins recording, pauses music you may be playing, turns down the phone’s brightness, and activates “do not disturb” mode.

The setting will also send to a predetermined contact a message saying you’ve been pulled over, the video that is recorded, and your location.

Many iPhone users are activating this shortcut on their devices to record encounters with police officers following the death of George Floyd and other recent incidents that turned violent and were captured on phone cameras.

Apple launched the shortcuts feature in 2018, allowing users to write their own scripts for the iPhone. Apple says anyone can edit a shortcut someone else has made to suit their own specific needs, and this “police” feature is one example.

A similar automated feature could be created using the Android Assistant, for non-iPhone users.

How to install it on your iPhone:

  • First, download the “Shortcuts” app on your iPhone.
  • Then, run another shortcut in the Shortcuts app. If you tap “Gallery” on the bottom right corner, you should see other shortcuts you can use.
  • Next, go to settings, and scroll down to “Shortcuts” and “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts.”
  • Use this link in Safari to download the “I’m getting pulled over” shortcut. Once it opens, scroll down and click “Add Untrusted Shortcut.”
  • Finally, choose a contact to whom you would like to send your location and a copy of the video recording. Then tap done.

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