Politics

San Francisco police suggest giving unmanned robots the ability to use lethal force

Authorities in San Francisco authorities have put forward a policy that would permit its military-style robots to use deadly force in the event that someone’s life is in immediate danger and other instances where there is danger.

A draft drawn up the San Francisco Police Department details how it will use 17 remote-controlled, unmanned robots, which are largely used by the bomb squad. Of these 17 robots, 12 are currently in operation.

“The robots listed in this section shall not be utilized outside of training and simulations, criminal apprehensions, critical incidents, exigent circumstances, executing a warrant or during suspicious device assessment,” the draft states. “Robots will only be used as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to SFPD.”

A police spokesperson told The Verge that officers have always been able to use lethal force when absolutely necessary and that a robot would only do so under “rare and exceptional” circumstances.

“SFPD does not have any sort of specific plan in place as the unusually dangerous or spontaneous operations where SFPD’s need to deliver deadly force via robot would be a rare and exceptional circumstance,” Officer Eve Laokwansathitaya told The Verge.

In Oakland, California, authorities confirmed that they did discuss the idea of suing armed robots, according to a report. The Oakland Police Department confirmed that leaders voted against this idea in October.

“The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is not adding armed remote vehicles to the department,” an Oct. 18 police statement said. “OPD did take part in ad hoc committee discussions with the Oakland Police Commission and community members to explore all possible uses for the vehicle.”

“However,” they added, “after further discussions with the Chief and the Executive Team, the department decided it no longer wanted to explore that particular option.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE 

PHOTO CREDITS: FOX NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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