PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An inventive Arizona man has added a wrinkle into a new Apple app that allows users to secretly record the police.
It’s as simple as saying, “Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”
The shortcut is designed “to keep everyone safe and honest,” Petersen writes.
Once Siri is alerted, Petersen’s invention will turn off any music, lower screen brightness, send a text message to a designated emergency contact and then put the phone in Do Not Disturb mode.
“When dealing with being pulled over and interacting with law enforcement, you want as little distraction as possible, and that includes music, bright screens and notifications coming in,” Petersen told USA Today. “You want to be focused on the encounter at hand and don’t want any unnecessary distraction to yourself or to law enforcement personnel.”
When the encounter is over and users stop the recording, a copy of the video is sent to the emergency contact, the brightness returns to normal and Do Not Disturb is turned off.
With police surveillance and brutality a hot topic, Petersen’s creation aims to spread the truth.
“I have noticed in reading news articles and seeing reports on TV that in many cases you end up with police saying one thing happened and the citizen being pulled over saying another,” Petersen explained to USA Today. “And how do you determine truth? Sometimes the police have body cams, sometimes not, and even when they do it’s not always released in a timely manner.”
The shortcut is not the first of its kind, though. In 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union released an app for Android users called “ACLU Blue” that also records law enforcement and shares the video to a public forum.
Peterson would be just happy if no one ever had to use his creation.
“My only goal with the police shortcut is trying to help people stay safe … and honest,” he said. “99.999 percent of the time you’ll never need it, but if you end up in a situation where it ended up being a good idea, you’ll be thankful you did.”