Although some police departments throughout the country require their officers to wear body cameras, others do not. Even if they do, obtaining the footage can be a long process.
In regard to interactions between police and citizens, cases often come down to their words against yours. This is why it is important to capture the incident on video using your cellphone.
If you are an iPhone user, recording police encounters can be easier using a new Shortcuts add-on called “Police.” Created by Robert Petersen, who lives in Arizona, all you need to say is “Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over” to activate the feature.
Upon command, Siri will discreetly pause any notifications being sent to your phone, mute any music, dim the brightness, alert an emergency contact of your current location, and record the police encounter. Once you stop recording, a copy of the video will be sent to a designated contact and your iPhone returns to its normal functions.
If you do not have an iPhone, there are several other apps that can help you record police interactions. For example, “ACLU Blue” enables users to record law enforcement and share the footage in a forum available to the public. Another app called “I'm Getting Arrested!” allows users to broadcast a customized message to SMS numbers in the event of an arrest—all with one click.
These apps offer citizens an added sense of security, which can make a substantial difference in court.