New Driving While Black Tool: ‘Siri, I’m Being Pulled Over.”

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Written by Ann Brown

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Most questions to Siri are innocuous: “Siri, what movies are playing tonight,” “Siri, what is today’s temperature?” But now Siri might offer some protection and comfort to many African-Americans who get pulled over and stopped by police.

There is a new feature for iPhones that will automatically record police traffic stops after the user says “Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”

This option is part of a new feature for iPhones called Shortcuts, an app that lets you write scripts for the iPhone. One of the shortcuts was crafted by a Redditor records police interactions and send texts to a predetermined contact that you’ve been pulled over, Business Insider reported. It will also send a video of the encounter to your contact.

The Shortcuts app was modified by Robert Petersen of Arizona, who created Police, and it monitors police interactions so you have a record of what happened using Apple’s virtual assistant Siri.

Once the shortcut is installed and configured, you just have to say, for example, ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.’ Then the program pauses music you may be playing, turns down the brightness on the iPhone, and turns on ‘do not disturb’ mode,” Business Insider reported.

Siri
In this image made from July 6, 2016, video captured by a camera in the squad car of St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer shoots at Philando Castile in the vehicle during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. Yanez’s backup officer Joseph Kauser is seen standing on the passenger side of the vehicle. The video was made public by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, Tuesday, June 20, 2017, just days after the officer was acquitted on all counts in the case. (St. Anthony Police department via AP)

Siri will record the entire encounter. “Siri will then pull up your front camera, turn down your brightness, put your phone on silent, and sends out a text message to a designated emergency contact to let them know where you are and what’s happening,” KRDO reported.

Here’s how to get the Police extension: Download the free Shortcuts app and then download the Police extension by clicking here. You can customize the Police settings to connect to both your camera and phone’s GPS.

This could become an important tool for Black drivers.

“Blacks are almost twice as likely to be pulled over as whites — even though whites drive more on average, by the way,” legal website Above The Law reported.

Frank Baumgartner, Derek Epp and Kelsey Shoub co-authored a book called “Suspect Citizens”, which analyzed some 20 million traffic stops.

Their research shows that Blacks are more likely to be searched following a stop. Driving While Black is a serious concern.  “African Americans are much more likely to be searched after a stop than white drivers, but less likely to be found with drugs, guns, alcohol or other forms of contraband after discretionary searches,” Above The Law reported.

“Blacks accounted for a disproportionate share of ­traffic-stop deaths, a finding that experts on policing said provides fresh evidence that blacks are pulled over more frequently than other drivers,” The Washington Post Post reported in 2015.

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