If you are pulled over by a police officer, you may want to record the interaction to document what happens and what is said. Many times, there is mis-communication between what the officer asks and the explanation that is given. Once this happens, how are you supposed to prove what was really said or how the conversation veered off course if there is not an audio or video recording?
If you want to record your traffic stop, technology is here for you. There is a new app for iPhone users that uses Siri to covertly make a recording of the stop. The app is designed to run a series of actions as well as record the stop. Once the recording has stopped, the app will automatically archive the footage. To use this app, you will need to download the add-on called "Police" that is part of the Shortcuts app that is now included with iOS 12.
How does it work?
Once you have the Police shortcut downloaded to your phone, you just need to say, "Siri, I am getting pulled over." Siri will then launch the app. If you had music playing on your phone, it will automatically pause and the screen will dim. To make sure there are no interruptions, the app will also put your phone into "do not disturb" mode. As a safety measure, a text will be sent to a trusted pre-programmed contact to let them know what is going on. It will then turn on the front camera of the phone. At this time, you can leave the phone in a holder on the dash and it will record the interaction with no visible video emanating from the screen. Once the video stops, everything on the phone reverts to how it was prior to turning on the app, and the video footage is saved.
Not just for iPhone users
If you do not have an iPhone, you can still record police encounters. You can download a similar app on Android from the Google Play Store. The ACLU also created an app that allows you to record interactions with the police and upload the video to a public web site.
Video may help your DUI case
DUI cases heavily rely on what happens during the initial stop. If you have video showing that the officer violated your rights or did not establish probable cause, it can prove vital in your case. The video can also be useful to determine whether a field sobriety test was sufficiently conducted and whether procedures were properly followed.
Even if you are not tech savvy, these apps can be easy enough for you to set-up and use. Since the app is taking care of most of the work, all you need to do is verbally tell it to turn on. You may find that having video of your encounter with a police officer can be useful if you are arrested and need to defend yourself in court.