Siri Can Now Record Police Interactions, Thanks to an iPhone User Who Made it Possible

Published on June 17, 2020

For an iPhone user, Siri’s been the go-to A.I. for everything. From reminders and setting alarms to making calls and Google searches, Siri can mostly do it all. But now, Siri will be able to respond to a task much larger and more dire than making a phone call–recording your interactions with the police.

Recording Your Interactions with the Police is Vital

After the senseless murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police that outraged the nation, law enforcement has been under fire. Though police brutality has been a longstanding issue, the mistreatment of civilians has been put under the microscope. With these incidents being filmed and widely shared via social media and news outlets for the first time in history, it’s exposing the world to corrupt and violent police conduct now more than ever.  

“Hey Siri, I’m Getting Pulled Over”

A feature called “Shortcuts” launched back in 2018, will allow iPhone users to perform multi-step tasks via Siri. Prompted by the wake of these murders in the hands of police, iPhone user, Robert Petersen, decided to create a vital shortcut. It will cue your phone to begin recording by announcing to Siri that you’re getting pulled over. Petersen says his goal with this app is to provide “the civilian equivalent” to a body cam. 

The voice command, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over” will immediately stop any music you may be playing, the screen brightness will dim and your phone will go into “do not disturb” mode. Your phone will then send a text to a contact you filled out when signing up for the app. It will let that person know your current location and that you’re being stopped by the police. Once you stop recording, a copy of the video auto sends to your contact. Then, your volume, brightness and other settings return to normal. You will also have the option to send the footage to your iCloud Drive or Dropbox for storage. 

iPhone users, to download this feature, you must have the Shortcuts app installed on your iPhone first. Once that’s installed, you can download this police shortcut here

Android Users: Stop and Frisk Watch

Unfortunately, this feature is not available for Android users. But there are apps with a similar premise for Androids. For example, the app called “Stop and Frisk Watch.” It’s a free app that will record incidents involving cops. By pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame, it begins filming the interaction. Once the filming stops (which you can do by shaking your device) a survey will pop up allowing you to fill in details of the incident witnessed and report misconduct. The app also alerts other users in the area when civilians are being stopped by the police. It sends a message informing you where the stops are taking place.

Kristen Sallaberry is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in New York, she covers the realm of consumer tech and how these ever-progressing gadgets affect our lives. A creative writer and music-head, she also writes for online music publication, Sound of Boston, where she reviews and premieres new music, and co-writes a hip-hop focused column.

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