Police Clarify Their ‘Killer Robots’ Will Be Armed with Explosives, Not Guns


San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved a proposal to allow police to use robots to kill suspects in some emergency scenarios.

The initiative was approved 8-3 on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The idea of “killer robots” was attacked by many, including attorney Tifanei Moyer of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, according to Mission Local.

“We are living in a dystopian future, where we debate whether the police may use robots to execute citizens without a trial, jury, or judge,” she told the outlet in an email. “This is not normal. No legal professional or ordinary resident should carry on as if it is normal.”

Supervisor Dean Preston was among those strongly opposed to the plan.


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“If police shouldn’t be trusted with tasers, they sure as hell shouldn’t be entrusted with killer robots,” he said during the meeting Tuesday, according to Christine Mai-Duc of The Wall Street Journal.

The San Francisco Police Department explained that the idea isn’t to create a corps of robotic Dirty Harrys to patrol the streets. It said it did not have pre-armed robots and had no plans to arm robots with guns, according to the AP.

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However, the department’s 12 robots might carry explosives “to contact, incapacitate, or disorient violent, armed, or dangerous suspect” when lives are at stake, SFPD representative Allison Maxie said in a statement.

“Robots equipped in this manner would only be used in extreme circumstances to save or prevent further loss of innocent lives,” she said.

The proposal said robots could be a “remotely controlled unmanned machine that operates on the ground, which is utilized to enhance the safety of the community and officers by providing ground support and situational awareness for law enforcement operations.”

If a police officer’s…


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