A handy iPhone shortcut allows users to start recording, send location to loved ones, back up video, and enact several more functions — all with a single command to Siri.
The ‘Police’ shortcut was released in 2018 but is now getting renewed attention thanks to protests and raised awareness of police misconduct.
Corie Lynn, an American military veteran, has shared a TikTok guide for setting up the shortcut, which has been viewed a whopping 10.8 million times so far.
Helpful: A handy shortcut allows iPhone users to record video, send location, and enact several functions with just one command (stock image)
The iPhone shortcut was created by Arizona resident Robert Petersen in September 2018 and made available for anyone with iOS 12.
After getting the shortcut, an iPhone user needs only to say, ‘Siri, I’m getting pulled over,’ and the phone will enact several functions simultaneously.
‘It pauses any music that may be playing, turns down your brightness and volume, turns on Do Not Disturb, and sends a message to the contact of your choosing letting them know you’re being pulled over and what your current location is,’ Petersen explained.
‘It then opens your front camera and starts a video recording so you have a video record of being pulled over.
‘Once you stop the recording, it sends a copy of the video to a contact you specify, puts volume and brightness back to where they were, turns off Do Not Disturb, and gives you the option to send to iCloud Drive or Dropbox!’
How to: After getting the shortcut , an iPhone user needs only to say, ‘Siri, I’m getting pulled over,’ and the phone will enact several functions simultaneously
What it does: A message is sent to a chosen contact, the camera starts recording, and video will be sent to that contact and backed up on iCloud or Dropbox
More functions: The screen brightness will dim, music will pause, and Do Not Disturb will be turned on
The shortcut earned some international attention at the time — but with people protesting racism and police brutality in all 50 states (and around the world), there has been raised awareness of police accountability.
Corie Lynn took it upon herself to bring the shortcut to the attention of a wider audience on TikTok.
‘OK, so all you have to do is say, “Hey Siri, I’m being pulled over,” and it’s gonna initiate 18 different actions in one time,’ she explained in a viral video.
‘It’s going to first sent the location — your pinpointed location — to the contact of your choice. It’s going to immediately start recording with your front-facing camera, while also dimming your phone down to zero [brightness],’ she says while scrolling through the settings.
‘It is going to pause any music you have playing, it’s going to send that video recording to the same person you had it tell you were being pulled over. And at the same time, it’s going to immediately upload all of those videos and photos to your iCloud, Drive, or DropBox of choice.
‘All of this happens simultaneously, like I said,’ she explained.
Viral: TikTok Corie Lynn user shared a video about it that’s been viewed 10.8 million times
Accountability: The useful shortcut can be an added safety measure when interacting with police
In a follow-up video, Corie breaks down exactly how to set up the shortcut.
First, users must go to their phone settings and, under Shortcuts, agree to ‘Allow Untrusted Shortcuts.’
‘If you’ve never run a Shortcut before, you’re gonna just have to pick one and run one so that way it won’t give you an error message,’ she says.
Using this link for the shortcut, click to add the Police shortcut. Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click the button to add the untrusted shortcut.
Next will come a series of prompts, including adding the recipient for your location and video from your contacts.
Then select to allow access for location, messages, camera, and photos. The screen also allows for some customization, for example, if a user wants to set the phone to a different brightness level.
Tweaking it: The shortcut can also be customized for the user’s liking
The ACLU also has an app for iPhone and Android called ACLU Blue, which records interactions and sends them to the ACLU Blue online community in an effort to expose misconduct.
It also has information to educate users on their rights.
Though states have different laws governing consent for recording — some require all parties to consent, while others only require one part to consent — this doesn’t apply to the recording of police doing their job.
‘Since law enforcement officials have no reasonable expectation of privacy when they interact with the public … the First Amendment protects your right to record police interactions or government officials who are performing official duties in public,’ the ACLU’s FAQ explains.
According to CBS News, officers are also not legally allowed to delete footage for any reason and cannot confiscate or demand to see footage without a warrant.