A draft of a policy suggests that the San Francisco police department, or SFPD, utilize robots that can use “deadly force” and kill suspects while reacting to situations.
The document describes the 17 robots in total—of which 12 are inactive—that the SFPD plans to utilize. According to a police spokesperson quoted by Mission Local, the remote-controlled tools are typically utilized for neighborhood inspection and bomb disposal.
The plan stated that the SFPD intended to employ them for “training and simulations, criminal apprehensions, critical occurrences, exigent circumstances, executing a warrant or during suspicious device assessments.”
The department holds that where there is an immediate threat and no alternative course of action is available, the use of “deadly force” is appropriate. Additionally, the proposal would permit the use of lethal force “where risk of loss of life to members of the public or police is immediate and surpasses any other kind of action available to SFPD”
It claimed that giving robots the power to kill will help cops with “ground support and situational awareness” because these robots can be adapted to add machines and grenade launchers.
The rules committee of the board of supervisors has approved a draft of this proposed document. It is awaiting the entire board’s decision next week.
A police plan in San Francisco may allow officers to execute suspects using remote-controlled robots.
Lethal force by robots would be permitted if there was a grave threat to law enforcement or the general public, according to a draft policy that outlines the contentious concept, local media sources reported this week.
According to Mission Local, a portion of the policy reads that “robots will only be employed as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or police are immediate and outweigh any other force option available to SFPD.”
The unmanned, remote-controlled robots can be operated by designated operators who must undergo training, per the proposed regulation.
The robots might be employed, according to the draft policy, during critical incidents, execution of warrants, arrests, and “suspect gadget inspections.”
The idea was examined by the rules committee, which decided to present it to the Board of Supervisors for discussion at a meeting on Tuesday.
The proposal was attacked by opponents, notably Tifanei Moyer, a senior staff attorney of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to Moyer of Mission Local, “we are living in a dystopian future where we argue whether the police may deploy robots to execute citizens without a trial, jury, or judge.”
“No legal expert or ordinary person should carry on as if that is normal,” Moyer continued in an email to the publication.
There are 17 robots in the department, but no one has ever been attacked by one, according to a police official.