San Francisco police proposal could allow cops to kill suspects with robots

A San Francisco police proposal could give police in the city the ability to kill suspects using remote-controlled robots.

A draft policy detailing the controversial proposal that deadly force by robots would be allowed if there was a lethal threat to the public by police, reported local outlet This week.

“Robots shall only be used as a lethal force option when the risk of loss of life of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to the SFPD,” part of the policy states, According to news outlet Mission Local,

Assigned operators who must undergo training can operate robots that are unmanned and remotely controlled, as per draft policy

If the draft policy is passed, robots could be used during arrests, critical incidents, execution of warrants and “suspicious device assessments,” the draft policy also states.

The rules committee, which reviewed the motion, voted to send it to the Board of Supervisors for consideration at Tuesday’s meeting.

A San Francisco Police Patch.
According to a report, the police department has never used a robot to kill.
San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Critics, including Tiffany Moyer, a senior staff attorney at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, criticized the proposal.

“We live in a dystopian future where we debate whether police can use robots to kill citizens without a trial, jury, or judge,” Moyer told Mission Local.

Moyer added in an email to the outlet, “No legal professional or ordinary resident should have to walk the walk in general.”

A police spokesperson reportedly said the department has 17 robots, but none have been used to attack a person.

Dallas Police Department used a robot to Kill a suspect in 2016. Accused of killing five police in a shooting.

Mission Local reported that the Oakland police declined to move forward with a similar proposal that would have allowed them to use lethal force robots after pitching the idea.

Leave a Comment