Popular iPhone shortcut lets drivers record police interactions

Published: Jun. 28, 2019 at 10:04 PM CDT
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New features on smartphones are allowing drivers to record their interaction with an officer with just the sound of a voice.

For most, the sight of flashing blue and red lights behind you will make you nervous. Now, your smartphone is a tool to record that traffic stop and interaction.

“Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”

After downloading the shortcut app on your iPhone and adding the “Police” shortcut, those words allow you to send a text with your location and video to a designated person – while putting your phone on do not disturb and dimming the screen.

Killeen officer Anthony Lourence says video recordings are expected these days.

“There’s almost an expectation to be recorded because we ourselves are required and mandated to have body cameras recording during traffic stops or interacting with a citizen,” he said.

According to police, if you’re ever pulled over, it’s okay for you to record. Just make sure your phone is somewhere they can see and your hands free at all times.

“It’s more so the officer ensures the safety of the driver of the vehicle and for the officer themselves that nobody makes any movements,” Lourence said.

Movements – whether good or bad during an interaction with police – often shared on social media in just a matter of seconds.

“There’s a lot of watchdog trait that people kind of take on,” Cassandra Gibson said.

Gibson is an attorney at The Carlson Law Firm. She says, while it is legal to record, be careful.

“That video is recording audio and video while you have it out. You may inadvertently offer evidence against yourself in a criminal or civil suit, which could be detrimental,” she said.

If you're using Siri or the old fashioned way through your phone's camera app to record, officers say do it in a smart way.