• Patricia Brandt, Attorney

"Hey Siri, I'm Getting Pulled Over"

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

iPhone shortcut allows users to record police stops.

Users of iOS12 or newer software can employ a Siri Shortcut app called Police that, upon

command, allows the device owner to alter a number of phone functions and initiate the recording of a possible police stop. Designed by Robert Petersen of Arizona, the app appears to be a handy tool for personal safety.

Peterson created a Shortcuts add-on simply called Police. The moment the add-on is selected, it triggers recording for police encounters. The app will send an automatic text to someone you choose and start recording the whole interaction with the front facing camera on your iPhone. The video is then sent to your contact.

The recorded footage can then be sent to a predetermined phone or email contact.

A similar shortcut created by Petersen, called Pulled Over by Police, was the subject of conversation in a 2018 thread that received 1,500 upvotes in Reddit’s Shortcuts subreddit.

While there is a clear benefit for those who may be pulled over by cops, there are some limitations that one should keep in mind. Officers are public people, you have every right to film them while they’re carrying out their official duties, however, one cannot record an officer in a private place such as a police station. That would be an invasion of privacy, you can't film them on private property. Since the app works when you are being pulled over by police, and therefore in a public place, that would be legal.

Police are not uniform in their operations. When traveling from downtown Cleveland to your home you may cross more than five police jurisdictions, all with different rules on body cameras. If you cannot rely upon the police body cameras to be worn or even turned on, then maybe recording your interaction with the police is your best bet.

All information displayed on the Brandt Law Ltd. website is informational and shall not be deemed as legal advice. If you’re currently dealing with an individual legal situation, you’re invited to contact me through email or by phone. Until an attorney-client relationship has been established, I urge that you avoid sharing any confidential information.

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