As frustrations have boiled over, peaceful protests against police brutality have placed interactions with law enforcement under a microscope. An iPhone shortcut, which lets users easily record their interactions with police officers, has been gaining popularity.
Although it has existed since 2018, the ‘I’m being pulled over’ shortcut has been gaining traction online since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. The free shortcut can be downloaded onto your iPhone. As The Verge reports, once the initial set up is complete, users only have to say “Hey Siri, I’m being pulled over” for the iPhone to begin conducting a set of actions.
Upon utter the phrase, the iPhone will immediately begin to dim the phone’s screen and pause any music. The iPhone will then begin recording video through the front-facing camera. Your phone can also send your current location to an emergency contact after confirming through a few pop-up messages.
Twitter user @sarcasticstyle posted a TikTok video displaying some of the shortcut settings.
Apparently iphones have a police shortcut link and it does a bunch of things when you tell Siri you’re pulled over…?
This is REALLY important if it’s legit, all my iphone ppl need to watch this and share. pic.twitter.com/Dp7E3Uj2So
— DesiBAE aka Big Horchata (@sarcasticstyle) June 10, 2020
To install the shortcut, there are a few additional steps that need to be taken as it’s not a simple app found in the App Store. No, users who wish to have access to the Siri shortcut must first download the Shortcuts app. Afterwards, you must visit the “I’m getting pulled over” Shortcut link on Safari from your mobile device. Finally, you must allow your phone to load unverified shortcuts through the Settings, plus give access to your current location.
Although the Siri shortcut does involve more than a few steps to have it up and running, it can protect those who believe there could be misconduct involved when interacting with an officer. While recording a police officer may not deter them from racially profiling or being aggressive, it can help hold those involved accountable for their actions.
Robert Petersen first released the shortcut in 2018. Over the past two years, Petersen has been updating the shortcut. When speaking to KCTV last year, Petersen said: “I just wanted a way for anyone to have proof of their version of events in the unlikely scenario that something unexpected happens during a police interaction. If 1 in 10,000 people find my Shortcut useful at all I’d be glad.”
Currently, there is no Android version of the shortcut. Though, similar apps such as Mobile Witness is available on the Google Play Store.