If there was ever the perfect example of how cell phones can change the world for the better it is the recording of the harrowing eight minutes and 46 seconds George Floyd endured with the Minneapolis Police that ended his life.
Imagine a world for a minute where that incident didn’t get recorded by bystanders.
If the wider sharing of video footage of police brutality is what it takes to instigate change then we are all for it. If the threat of being recorded helps shine a light on racism and help eradicate it once and for all then we truly will have achieved something, and technology could be said to have played its part.
To that end, it’s almost a depressingly sad news story that you can now download a Shortcut for your iPhone that you can activate with Siri to use if you are pulled over by the police.
Activating Siri with ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.” will stop any music being played, dim the brightness, send a message to pre-defined contact letting them know you are being pulled over by the police as well as a map location. Finally, the front camera is activated and starts recording.
When you stop it recording it will send the video to your contact and restore your phone to how it was.
The shortcut was created by Robert Peterson and you will need Apple Shortcuts installed to make it work before downloading it.
Petersen told Business Insider that the new shortcut would allow people to have access to “the civilian equivalent” a police body cam.
“It seemed to me that if you’re getting pulled over it couldn’t hurt to have a recording of the incident. The police these days in many places have body cams, so this could be the civilian equivalent.“
“It just seemed a good idea to empower the individual citizen to have a record over what happens during a stop to remove any ‘he said/she said’ scenarios. I honestly didn’t think the idea would prove as popular as it has, the response has been extremely positive and more than a bit overwhelming!”
You can download the Shortcut for your iPhone here
The Shortcut is a similar premise to Stop and Frisk Watch app available for Apple and Android devices which allows New Yorkers to video interactions with the police when they see people being stopped. It also alerts nearby users so the activity can be monitored.
It’s really disheartening reporting the need for ‘solutions’ such as these. The sooner we remove the necessity for them, maybe we can start calling ourselves civilized without it sounding empty.