“Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”
Those six simple words hold the power to activate an installable shortcut on iPhones that automatically records any interaction with the police.
The “Getting Pulled Over” shortcut was first shared to Reddit by Robert Petersen last year and was created as a way for a person to use a minimal amount of effort as “having to press buttons on the phone since that could be dangerous if there’s a trigger happy cop.”
Once employed, the shortcut pauses any music that may be playing, turns down the brightness and volume on the phone, and turns on Do Not Disturb before sending a message to chosen contacts with a notification that the phone owner has been pulled over, sending along with it their current location. Then, the shortcut opens the front camera and automatically starts recording video. Once the user stops the recording, the shortcut sends a copy of the video to a specified contact and returns the phone to its normal settings.
The shortcut “works best when used with a phone dash-mounted, but that’s just my opinion,” wrote Peterson on the Reddit forum.
Though it was created in 2019, the shortcut is receiving notable attention as millions of people around the world have been protesting for weeks in support of Black Lives Matter after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody. A growing body of research has shown that People of Color are disproportionately affected by police brutality and the justice system, with police violence being a leading cause of death in young Black men between the ages of 20 and 35 in the United States. In response to the protests – some of which have turned violent – US lawmakers have passed legislation addressing police reform, including an executive order signed by President Donald Trump encouraging better police practices, reported the Associated Press.
At the time, there is currently no similar shortcut for Android. iPhone users can download the shortcut using the following instructions:
- Step 1: If you don’t already have it, download the Shortcuts app from the iPhone application store. This must be opened using the Safari web browser on iOS 12.
- Step 2: As CNN reports, the user then must run another shortcut within the Shortcuts app by tapping the “Gallery” button in the bottom right corner. This will pull up other shortcuts.
- Step 3: Go to settings and scroll down to “Shortcuts”. Toggle the “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts” to on.
- Step 4: Open this “I’m Getting Pulled Over” link and tap “Get Shortcut.”
It is not clear what sort of information the shortcut stores from a user’s personal device nor whether it continues to run in the background.