Record police encounters automatically with your iPhone and Siri Shortcuts
Videos of Philando Castille, Daunte Wright and George Floyd’s deaths raised public awareness of police encounters and demands for justice.
Imagine you’re suddenly pulled over and need to record what’s happening, but don’t have time to be adjusting your phone. Fortunately, there’s a free app for that.
Tell Siri “I’ve been pulled over” and the free Shortcut app on your iPhone does the rest. The app records a video and sends a text message to the people you’ve chosen along with the video recording, location and time of the incident. A copy of the video is stored in the cloud, just in case you lose your phone.
How to use ‘I’ve been pulled over’ app
- Install the free Shortcut app
- Shortcuts can run different scripts, just like EXCEL can handle many spreadsheets
- Add Robert Petersen’s free script for “I’ve been pulled over”
- Configure the app to your preferences. Read detailed instructions below.
- Choose who to send your location, time and video.
- Tell Siri “I’ve been pulled over” and the Shortcut app swing into action.
- This blog is only for information purposes. Use the app in compliance with local laws.
Alert sent with incident video, location and time
How the ‘I’ve been pulled over’ script works
- Download the free Shortcuts app from the Apple AppStore.
- Shortcuts comes with free scripts like Shazam and you have to use one to activate Shortcuts.
- You can then either create your automated script, or install one that someone else has developed.
- Next go to Settings. Choose the Shortcuts app and enable “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”.
- This is necessary to install the ‘I’ve been pulled over’ script developed by Robert Peterson.
- The script is free, but please consider donating to Robert here.
- Open Robert’s script in your Shortcuts app and adjust the settings.
- You can adjust the screen brightness, choose the camera and other things.
- Add contact details for the people you want to alert and send your video.
- Choose which cloud based storage service (like Dropbox or iCloud) you’d like to save your video.
- Try using the app by saying “I’ve been pulled over”. The people you’ve chosen to be notified should get a copy of the video as a text message along with your location and the time and a copy of the video should have been saved in the cloud storage system you chose.
Use a dashboard camera holder
Use a dashboard phone holder to record better quality videos hands-free. Adjust the angle to get the best possible view for the video.
Videos in the fight for justice
Your right to make a recording
“The ACLU says that any time you are “lawfully present in any public space” you have the right to take photos and videos of anything in plain sight, including government buildings and the police. Some jurisdictions do have laws regarding audio recordings, which the ACLU says some states have tried to use to outlaw video recordings.
The ACLU stresses that you maintain your right against unlawful search and seizure while protesting, which includes access to your smartphone or standalone camera roll. Without a warrant, police can’t legally confiscate or demand to see your pictures or videos, nor can they delete any of the data on your devices. They can, however, ask you to move or stop what you’re doing if it legitimately interferes with law enforcement operations.” – CNET
- Know Your Rights while shooting pictures or videos – ACLU
Photographing Police Brutality – Authority Collective
- Resources for Photographers and Beyond on Anti-Racism – Authority Collective
- Safety during protests – Amnesty International
More resources – Black Lives Matter
TakeAway: Record police encounters automatically with Siri and Shortcuts to preserve the facts of what happened and alert others.
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