Siri shortcut can record video of police stops

A newly created a shortcut uses Siri to record encounters with police.

USA Today reported that the iOS 12 Shortcut called Policecreated by Reddit user Robert Petersen, of Arizona, was created after he noticed that the news media was reporting on disputes between police and people who have been pulled over in the news.

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"I have noticed in reading news articles and seeing reports on TV that, in many cases, you end up with police saying one thing happened and the citizen being pulled over saying another," Petersen told USA Today. "And how do you determine truth? Sometimes, the police have body cam(era)s, sometimes not, and even when they do, it's not always released in a timely manner."

Users can say something like, “Hey, Siri, I’m being pulled over,” and Siri will turn down your music, close out any open apps, turn on Do Not Disturb and send a text to your designated emergency contact to let them know what is going on and where you are located. When the recording is over, the shortcut sends a copy of the video to a user-specified contact, turns off Do Not Disturb and turns up the screen brightness.

Police can be located through the new iOS 12 app Shortcuts, in which users can create a number of other personal short cuts from different apps on their iPhone.

“My only goal with the Police shortcut is trying to help people stay safe and honest,” Petersen said. “(Most) of the time, you’ll never need it, but if you end up in a situation where it ended up being a good idea, you’ll be thankful you did.”

Users with Android devices have a number of apps they can use to record police encounters and notify contacts if they are stopped by police, including ACLU Blue, created by the American Civil Liberties Union.