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How to create an 'I'm getting pulled over' shortcut on Android using Google Assistant

Google Assistant Pullover Hero
Google Assistant Pullover Hero (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you've undoubtedly seen the constant barrage of stories covering the collective societal frustration with the endemic racism that has plagued this country for centuries. Aside from highlighting the protests of social injustice around the country and the world, these stories have also shown frightening interactions between law enforcement and ordinary citizens.

With people fearing their protectors, many have been searching for ways to document interactions with police, should they find themselves in a precarious situation. This guide will demonstrate how you can record, and hopefully protect yourself from a potentially dangerous interaction.

What started this automation movement?

Recently, those in the Apple community have created and shared a Siri Shortcut that allows users who feel that they are potentially in an unsafe situation with law enforcement to document that interaction. The Siri Shortcut "Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over" can trigger an automation on their iPhones that will do things like automatically dim the phone's home screen, pause any active media, record a video, and send that video to an emergency contact and/or streaming site.

Google faithful have been trying to recreate a version of this automation for Android users through the Google Assistant, and it looks like at least one person has cracked the code. Reddit user /FeistyApperance first posted their solution on June 17, 2020, to the r/Android subreddit. Below, we've summarized the steps that they outlined and included our own screenshots so that you can follow along and recreate the automation for yourself.

How to record a police pullover with Google Assistant

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap on Routines.
  3. Tap on Manage routines.
  4. Tap on Add a routine.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Under When, tap on Add commands.
  2. Type in the command I'm getting pulled over (note that the action will add the words 'I say' before your command... it's ok, go with it).
  3. Tap OK.
  4. Under Assistant will, tap Add Action.
  5. Tap on Browse popular actions.
  6. Scroll down and tap on Send a text under the Communication section.
  7. Tap on the gear icon next to Send a text.
  8. Enter the number you wish to text in the first field.
  9. Enter the message I am having an interaction with the police, please check my Google Photos for a video as my phone has started recording this incident.
  10. Under Your devices, tap on Put phone on silent.
  11. Tap Adjust media volume.
  12. Tap on the gear icon next to Adjust media volume.
  13. Adjust the slider to 0.
  14. Tap Add.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Under Assistant will, tap Add Action.
  2. Enter the Command Set my screen brightness to 0.
  3. Tap Add.
  4. Tap Add Action.
  5. Enter the Command Turn on do not disturb.
  6. Tap Add.
  7. Tapp Add Action.
  8. Enter the Command Take a selfie video.
  9. Tap Add.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

It seems more complicated than it is, and so long as you aren't interrupted while setting this up, you should be able to create this routine rather quickly.

Our friend Juan Carlos Bagnell, aka Some Gadget Guy, also recently did an excellent video explainer of this routine:

Before you put this automation in action, there are a few important things to note when setting up this Google Assistant routine. For starters, if you set it up in your house and decide to test it there, make sure that you mute your other Google Assistant devices (like your Nest Hubs, Nest Minis, etc.), or else you'll have a lot of confused devices to tend to. Secondly, the Redditor who created this routine advises that you also download the ACLU Mobile Justice app (opens in new tab) (which varies by state) and familiarize yourself with your rights regarding interactions with law enforcement. Finally, readers on the thread commented that it is advisable (maybe even legally required) that you inform the officer(s) that stop you that you are recording the interaction from your vehicle. Different states have different regulations regarding recording officials, but the ACLU website and app referenced above has some useful resources for you to read up on this.

Don't forget to check out our guides on the Google Pixel's new Personal Safety app, as well as locking down your Samsung Galaxy phone.

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

25 Comments
  • Nice! Thanks for all the work put into this.
  • Credit to FeistyAppearance on Reddit for the initial post :)
  • Hopefully it works when you're at a violent protest!!!
  • Especially when a white supremacist/skinhead plows through the crowd. 🤫
  • Or when a bunch of BLM rioters break into your shop to steal your merchandise and assaulted you.
  • Your point would carry more weight if you worked a little at your English language abilities... and then your bosses might pay you more..
  • Hopefully you'll look back some time and regret that you actually said this.
  • Or when a racist cop beats the **** out of you because he's too stupid and poorly trained to handle an ant farm, let along a human being.
  • Or we could film a guy impersonating a town worker sticking a gun to a innocent pregnant ladies stomach to forcefully gain access to her house to get drugs.What a great guy!!!!
  • This is @ThrottleJohnny: That is such a racist post and its people like YOU that cause racial tension and problems in this beautiful world. Get some life perspective or get off this medium as you are polluting it with your racist stench. Remember racists come in ALL SKIN COLORS!!
  • This week be great for sovereign citizens!
  • Just a single problem with this. If your phone is locked, assistant will to everything except recording a video. If you want this to work, you'll have to unlock your phone first.
  • What an indictment that we live in a society where we feel this is needed. Better to stamp out the discrimination and malpractice.
  • How about a "I'm resisting arrest and gonna car jack the next passerby!" App? We all had bright eyed and pie in the sky dreams when we were younger. Then we learned.
  • Or it could be called "I'm about to act the fool and cry when I face the consequences."
  • Thanks. Now I can let my friends and family (if I have one 😉) know I'm going to resist arrest before I commit suicide by cop.
  • Is there a way to send a contact your location as well? Not too familiar with GHome Routines.
  • The only way that I can think of is by adding the command "send my location to [PERSON] using WhatsApp" or "send my location to [PERSON] using SMS". note that when using SMS if the contact has more than one phone number you might have to select the phone number you want to send it to before it continues with the routine.
  • Nice! I knew it'd be worth it to wade through the toxic sludge of this comment section to find gold like this. Thanks.
  • These comments are super toxic btw. 🤨
  • Can you make one for me when the looters and rioters are burning my house and breaking in
  • According to the news it was all peaceful protests.
  • Honestly people need to chill with this stuff like why y'all so angry about a black dude dieing from a police men I'm pretty it happens every other day
  • Let's see if Google demonizes Android central for their comment section... highly unlikely....🙄
  • Can we add a step? Google play bad boys bad boys what you gonna do?