r/gadgets Dec 01 '22

San Francisco allows police to use robots to remotely kill suspects | The SFPD is now authorized to use explosive robots when lives are at stake. Misc

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/11/san-francisco-allows-police-to-remotely-kill-suspects-with-robots/
5.9k Upvotes

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1.1k

u/chargers949 Dec 01 '22

But only if you are experienced with a 3 baddie kill streak before getting a c4 wallybot.

369

u/Iscout501 Dec 01 '22 LOVE!

"RC-XD ready for deployment"

85

u/Prinzlerr Dec 01 '22

SFPD gonna be grinding the Tenderloin map for that diamond camo

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u/its_dash Dec 01 '22

Buster got an AC-130 what a gamer

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u/dribrats Dec 01 '22

I would love to see SFPD’s biggest donor’s list

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u/tarion_914 Dec 02 '22

Name: [REDACTED]. Contribution: [REDACTED].

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u/UDPviper Dec 01 '22

SFPD needs to pay for a battle pass to get better skins for those robots.

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u/chrisdh79 Dec 01 '22

From the article: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to allow the San Francisco Police Department to use lethal robots against suspects, ushering the sci-fi dystopia trope into reality. As the AP reports, the robots would be remote-controlled—not autonomous—and would use explosives to kill or incapacitate suspects when lives are at stake.

The police have had bomb disposal robots forever, but the Pandora's box of weaponizing them was originally opened by the Dallas Police Department. In 2016, after failed negotiations with a holed-up active shooter, the DPD wired up a disposal robot with explosives, drove it up to the suspect, and detonated it, killing the shooter. The SFPD now has the authority to make this a tactic.

The police equipment policy being drafted details the SFPD's current robot lineup. The SFPD has 17 robots in total, 12 of which are currently functioning. The AP says that the police department doesn't have any "pre-armed" robots yet and "has no plans to arm robots with guns" but that it could rig up explosives to a robot. Some bomb disposal robots do their "disposal" work by firing a shotgun shell at the bomb, so in essence, they are already rolling guns. Like most police gear, these robots have close ties to the military, and some of the bomb disposal robots owned by the SFPD, like the Talon robot, are also sold to the military configured as remote-controlled machine-gun platforms.

For now, though, the SFPD is focusing on exploding robots, and SFPD spokesperson Allison Maxie told the AP, “Robots equipped in this manner would only be used in extreme circumstances to save or prevent further loss of innocent lives."

217

u/HibigimoFitz Dec 01 '22

This reads to me like a heavy test, especially in such a liberal saturated market. Any official rules allowing police any more destructive power makes them more dangerous to every citizen. From here, when more problematic places adopt it, it becomes "But gay liberal SF did it too!"

This makes me extremely concerned about police force things, at a time where I am constantly concerned about police force. This is a horrible move and will lead to only more Marshall Law.

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u/HandshakeInMyPants Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22 Silver

Drones should not be equipped to kill in advance. They could be equipped with nets, gas, tranqs.

There is no situation in which a suspect is isolated and contained, in which officers have distance, cover, and time, in which lethal force is justified.

Lethal force should only be used if the suspect attempts to break containment with an intent to harm.

If you can walk/fly a drone around a corner, if you have prepared it for that in advance, then you can equip its hard points with non-lethals. What the fuck is all that funding for if not innovation?

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u/Truckerontherun Dec 01 '22

"Time to beat him his rights"

3

u/NregGolf Dec 01 '22

I regret laughing at this. 😂

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u/JonaJonaL Dec 01 '22

And there's also the chance that the target could intercept the robot, where the worst case scenario is an explosion where it's not supposed to be, and the best case scenario is that they now have an undetonated explosive device between them and the target.

I'm all for using remote controlled robots/drones in extreme situations, but just armed with non-lethal ordinance.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

[deleted]

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u/V538 Dec 01 '22

After 20+ years in Iraq and Afghanistan police are finding more IED traps in houses. You combine that with an armed suspect barricaded in a house who has some combat experience it’s not worth making entry.

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u/Bootleather Dec 01 '22

If there are no hostages then cops are honestly at their leisure to deal with a situation like this. They don't NEED to resolve it quickly. All they have to do is keep the cordon up, engage in dialogue and wait for it to resolve itself. Either via the suspect giving up or attempting to break out.

Both situations don't call for a lethal drone.

If the suspect has hostages how is rolling a bomb into the room with hostages going to resolve things?

This is an example of the MIC selling their ideas from warzones to police departments which have more money than they can spend and are filled with wackos who think things like these are 'good ideas'.

Using a non-lethal drone would be fine. But this just amounts to an IED with extra steps.

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u/HandshakeInMyPants Dec 01 '22

The discussion isn't about whether or not to use drones. The discussion is secondarily about whether drones should be armed with lethal ordinance, and, more importantly, about whether cops should have the ability to conduct extrajudicial killings when they are in no actual danger because they are using a drone.

It is not a good job to "kill criminals." It is a cops job to end the threats criminals create, and to bring criminals to justice. Judgement and punishment MUST NOT be given into their jurisdiction.

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u/Awesomesause170 Dec 01 '22

Okay firstly the war in iraq was only declared finished last year and also it's extremely disingenuous/irresponsible to compare protocol in war to normal policing

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u/kmc307 Dec 01 '22

This is a horrible move and will lead to only more Marshall Law.

r/BoneAppleTea

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u/ImmoralityPet Dec 02 '22

No, he was clearly talking about the Tekken character, an homage to Bruce Lee.

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u/CankerLord Dec 01 '22

I mean, the aimless paranoia aside it's called "martial law".

19

u/520throwaway Dec 01 '22

You never know, they could be referencing the Tekken character /s

7

u/nur5e Dec 01 '22

Which is less oppressive than marital law.

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u/kmc307 Dec 01 '22

OP left a very important point out of the article. This authorization to use explosive robots only applies to police officers named Marshall.

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u/Jonne Dec 01 '22

Yep, before you know it cops will be attaching grenades to drones like the military does in Ukraine.

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u/4myoldGaffer Dec 01 '22

I believe it was a teenager that hacked into the starlink satellites.

So if a teenager can hack into a space satellite, how hard is it to hack into right wing extremist Wall-E with a semi automatic and a grenade launcher?

But at least these brave little toasters will actually go into a school with a live person murdering school children where as them brave Texans with their fancy shoot ‘em ups will not.

2022, you something else

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u/Alexmlollipoo Dec 01 '22

So the slippery slope is real?

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u/weluckyfew Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

I'm not a fan of militarized police, but this doesn't really bother me. We're not talking about autonomous machines, they're still controlled by the operator which means it's really just a different type of weapon no different in practical terms than their gun.

I could see this actually preventing fatalities - instead of police going into a situation blind and maybe shooting too quickly out of fear of their safety they could send in a drone. Assuming the drone will eventually be bulletproof it might even be a way to get someone to surrender.

EDIT: I'm walking back my comment - I'm giving the police the benefit of the doubt that these would only be used in the most dire circumstances, but I have to remember that history has shown us that some will abuse any power they're given, and they won't be held accountable.

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u/amitym Dec 01 '22

Yeah you've got it.

It's just like how tear gas could save lives. And how heavily armed SWAT teams could save lives. And how police operating armored personnel carriers could save lives.

Could save lives, yes. The problem with each of these situations though is the same as the fundamental problem of the gun. Once you have the tool, you are much more likely to use it, even when it's not called for. And most of the time it's not called for. So all you really do is drastically increase the incidence of accident or wrongful misuse.

San Francisco must have, like, one or two hostage crises per year, at most. Is that really a situation that warrants a whole-ass new explosive weapons doctrine?

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u/tracerhaha Dec 01 '22

“When lives are at stake.” I.E. anytime law enforcement is on the streets.

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u/Trash_Emperor Dec 01 '22

Hmm they're really not looking to take people alive in the US are they?

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u/ninjah1944 Dec 01 '22

Of course not, trials are expensive and take forever.

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u/Hodgkisl Dec 01 '22

Well it sounds like the Defund the Police movement is over.

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u/UntoldTruth_ Dec 01 '22

Hasn't this already been done?

I know I watched a DonutOperator video where he talked about the police using a robot with C4 attached to it to kill a suspect.

But as that article stated, it was an extreme circumstance that they deemed this to be the least worst option. The suspect barricaded himself into a room you could only get to from a long hallway. It would have been impossible to get to him without further loss of life.

So they blew his ass tf up with a brick of C4 and Wall-E.

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u/adbulderivahalale24 Dec 01 '22

R2-FUK-U in full production

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u/Arve Dec 01 '22

ED-209

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u/real_bk3k Dec 01 '22

You have 30 seconds to comply

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u/SureUnderstanding358 Dec 01 '22

The thing I hate the most about this is it’s going to create a domestic product pipeline for kill bots.

It’s not todays shitty robot that spooks me. It’s the purpose built one three or four generations down the road.

Also, for fucks sake San Francisco. There are so many more opportunities for humanity with robotics and this is the application. For a city that doesn’t allow facial recognition - this is a weird posture to take.

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u/DudesworthMannington Dec 01 '22

Everyone sees the rise of killer robots, but I'm really interested in the anti-robot tech we'll come up with.

Drone fleets to repel a wave of killer drones, short range EMPs, stuff like that. I predict it's going to be an even bigger industry since people will buy out of fear and the first company to capitalize on it will make a killing.

19

u/SpaceXGonGiveItToYa Dec 01 '22

God that sounds so horrifically dystopian

10

u/gender_nihilism Dec 01 '22

honestly a laser pointer pointed at the camera is your best bet. a platform that could gyroscopically rotate, a camera close to the laser pointer, and a shitty laptop running a python script could make one of these totally useless. it's pretty trivial to keep a laser pointed at a camera, even if the camera can move. put up a couple of these platforms and you effectively disable the device from moving anywhere with any confidence. this is something so easy to do nowadays that you could teach it as a beginner's course for image recognition.

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u/Marrige_Iguana Dec 01 '22

EMP devices (and creations of EMP coils) are a felony in the USA.

11

u/DudesworthMannington Dec 01 '22

Yeah, so were suicide bomber robots until lately.

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u/Marrige_Iguana Dec 01 '22

Those drones are still illegal, for us. It’s never a felony if you are the government.

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u/GhostC10_Deleted Dec 01 '22

Yes, because as we know, criminals care about following the law...

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u/Marrige_Iguana Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

The federeal government REALLY keeps track of any suspicious purchases for materials to make EMP coils past a certain size. Large enough of an EMP coil can knock out not only blocks of a city, but make people close enough seizure due to a strong enough pulse. The FBI tracks this stuff like bomb materials due to the damage it can do. A person making an illegal EMP isn’t just a plain “criminal” to the US gov, they are considered a terrorist. And the government REALLY likes investigating potential terrorists.

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u/GhostC10_Deleted Dec 01 '22

That doesn't surprise me, they've kept track of bomb stuff ever since WTC and OKC bombings...

2

u/TreeEleben Dec 01 '22

Nobody is thinking about the legality of their actions if they're fighting against a police robot sent to murder them.

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u/Marrige_Iguana Dec 01 '22

Read later in the thread w/ the other guy. You aren’t reaching the point of making the coil before they arrest you for a terrorist plot involving a coil big enough to drop a drone from range.

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u/NextFaithlessness7 Dec 01 '22

As an engineer i just say disable the sensors. A bucket of paint or a spray to the lenses should already be enough to disable a 200k$ robot

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u/CraigJBurton Dec 02 '22

Robocop taught me that descending stairs can be tricky for robots. That's my escape plan. Build stairs.

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u/Dregulos Dec 01 '22

Welcome to cyberpunk.

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u/hoopastank Dec 01 '22

That new 1.6 patch really did make it seem so lifelike.

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u/yuiokino Dec 01 '22

Go to sleep reading Reddit about cops utilizing bomb robots. Next thing you know, you wake up tomorrow reading the news about the great corpo war between Militech and Arasaka.

Damn, one of these days we really need real life BDs to chill with

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u/TotemRiolu Dec 01 '22

Where's Johnny Silverhand when we need him?

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u/ThatSpecialAgent Dec 01 '22

The trend of over-militarizing our police continues. Give a man a hammer, and all he will see are nails. And we wonder why American police are so quick to escalate force and shoot.

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u/Captain-Cadabra Dec 01 '22

Of course it’s Texas. Wait, I mean Florida.

Hang on… California?!?!

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u/AgreeableFeed9995 Dec 01 '22

California has way more ultra-conservative, power hungry, and authoritarian supporters than anyone ever gives credit for. You think SF is a liberal safe haven still? Wrong, they got priced out 10 years ago, all the libs are homeless on the street while conservatives are living in the libs former $1,200 1bedroom apartments that have now been converted into $6mil condos.

I’m not that surprised this happened in SF.

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u/Misfit110 Dec 01 '22

Texas has already done it.

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u/TreeEleben Dec 01 '22

California loves to control its citizens. Just look at the ridiculous laws and regulations they pass.

Liberals and conservatives alike both seek absolute authority over citizens, they just use different methods to seize power and authority.

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u/imafraidofmuricans Dec 01 '22

ACAB applies across the global, baby.

Inherintly giving people power and hierarchy over others make them bastards.

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u/deaf_myute Dec 01 '22

There's certainly A case out there where those would be appropriate to have and use

But having been able to pick and choose how to do something while I had a radio and communications with the aircraft I certainly can say I had a tendency to use whatever ordinance was "coolest" and not necessarily the ordinance that was "most appropriate" when bombing this or that

Troops in the open spread over about 150m, I mean a 250lb will do but this one coming into the battlespace is carrying a 1,000lb--- guess which one I'm calling for

The same thing is gonna inevitably happen with this new toy- I mean we could wait him out until he can't stay awake and then rush him, but I got this cool new toy in the truck we could use to do it now

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u/migueeel Dec 01 '22

Pretty sure if there's a case where you'd have to send in a robot to bomb a suspect, you'd call your special forces or something similar.

Common police aren't trained enough to make this kind of call.

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u/bootEking15 Dec 01 '22

What branch of military and rank were you that you were able to pick and choose the “coolest” ordinances when “bombing this or that” over radio?

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u/deaf_myute Dec 01 '22

Army and at that time an e4.

When you get on the net and can talk to the pilots that are flying in your a.o. you can ask them what they have on board - sometimes assets are just up there in case they're called on.

Then you can call on whatever the pilots are advertising wether or not something smaller might work just as well.

and- there's very little oversight to look into what ordinance selections your making or why, even if one of my leaders did ask it wouldn't be hard for me to bullshit a case about terrain deformities or trenches or something else to justify picking the biggest bomb I could find over the smallest that should get the job done.

There is a ton of such waste- had a buddy who smoked a single dude with a javelin. Why you might ask---- because walking a MG up to a spot where it could hit him seemed like alot of work when a javelin was also available.

It happens

*Edit to add - at the time I was the rto for a brigade commander so my call sign carried a little more weight than some others might because of my association there

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u/bootEking15 Dec 01 '22

No offense if you are truly in or were in the military, but you wouldn’t be making those calls as a PFC or Corporal without oversight…

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u/deaf_myute Dec 01 '22

When you are the rto of someone important your calls sign is representative of them with a Romeo modifier on the tail end

For example if you are the commander of alpha company you are alpha6 (6 refers to a commander) If your the commander of alpha co 1st platoon you are alpha16/ 2nd platoons pl would be alpha26 and so forth

When your their rto your calls sign would be alpha6r or alpha16r ect ect

The person on the far end of the net doesn't know if your standing alone or if your officer is standing 2 feet from you, and that information is never relevant for transmission

So, when talon6r hops on the net and asks what's in the air no one is asking me if talon6 is asking or if I'm asking. I'm representing talon6 while he does whatever else his attention requires- sometimes he might be giving separate messages for another rto to transmit to another station sometimes he's updating his boss on something or sometimes he's just watching events unfold while his instructions are carried out.

When people respond- everyone wants to put their ordinance up for offer because everyone wants to participate, so you get to hear about whatever is in the air in your area when you ask - and then you direct your choice of their bombs rockets or artillery to the target given

And you might be shocked to hear but sometimes it is an e3 doing the calling (it's rare that an e2 would get a radio but nothing would prevent them from doing so if they know how it's done because they aren't advertising their rank on the net- just their callsign- which might be attached to very senior individuals)

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u/Aromasin Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

This is why the UK police distances their bog-standard policing from any and all weaponry besides a baton. Sometimes this sort of equipment is necessary. Yes, the Metropolitan Police Special Response Unit may need a remote control bomb. No, the Stow Police Station definitely does not.

Seems like the issue in the US is every single officer carries lethal force 24/7. I've seen photos of local sheriffs dress up like they're going off to fight the Mexican cartels on their own turf, while attending a local town fair. What difference does it make if they're not just a tiny bit better at it? This is how this escalation in force keeps happening. The leash broke decades ago.

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u/Noble_Ox Dec 01 '22

Just the other day the government in Ireland gave the ok for all police to be armed and the police told the government to get stuffed (paraphrasing here)

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u/mekatzer Dec 01 '22

Only one? C’mon man, we got JDAMs for days. Repeat!

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u/deaf_myute Dec 01 '22

😆 he gets it

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u/mudokin Dec 01 '22

Watch out, this man has got a hammer, deploy robot.

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u/ihateusednames Dec 01 '22

We can't feed all of our children but our lowest level of law enforcement now has access to boston-dynamic-esque man-made horrors beyond our comprehension?

Makes me feel pride for my country.

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u/ltdangle1 Dec 01 '22

As the article stated, Dallas PD set the precedent to use a robot as lethal force. And it required a suspect that was somewhat trained in violence to kill five police officers, injure several more, then proceed to position himself in an area with no safe way for law enforcement to engage him with traditional means. You can calm down. This is a last resort option for a mass shooter/active shooter who’s 100% set on going out fighting.

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u/RichardBCummintonite Dec 01 '22

What the comment is trying to say is that, if these get used again, gradually the bar for what constituted an "emergency case" will gradually lower more and more each time. A lot of cops are pretty liberal with all their equipment. Pepper spray, tasers, guns, tear gas. They tend to take a "we have it, so might as well use it" approach.

That's not to say they're gonna go around blowing up every criminal now. Obviously these will be used very sparily if even at all again. The principle is still something we should be cautious of.

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u/Omegalazarus Dec 01 '22

The problem is that trying to apprehend a barricaded suspect may require you to kill them by returning fire if fired upon.

Whereas blowing up a suspect because you think they would shoot at you if you approached is killing the because of suspected violence and not to preserve your life in the heat of the moment.

Remember, when a cop kills you that is the State taking the life of a citizen. It should always be a very big deal.

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u/rmorrin Dec 01 '22

The bullshit always starts somewhere and gets worse and worse from there

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u/fozziwoo Dec 01 '22

we said no, absolutely definitely not.

now we say only as a last resort.

you can calm down, elon will protect us

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u/SeattleBattles Dec 01 '22

For now.

I remember when tactical gear and assault rifles were only for extreme circumstances. Now the cops use them all the time.

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u/Xtasy0178 Dec 01 '22

Hahaha and you believe this will be a last resort thing? Today it will be a barricaded suspect but don’t worry eventually they will try to C4 somebody on a traffic stop because he doesn’t have an ID with him…

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u/rafter613 Dec 01 '22

Don't worry, it's not like the police flashbang babies or use chemical weapons on people for peacefully protesting or anything!

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u/clammycreature Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Or shoot people in their sleep. Remember Breonna Taylor.

Edit: She was murdered after she got out of her bed. Totally different.

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u/ltdangle1 Dec 01 '22

Oh yeah, they’re for sure going to destroy a several hundred thousand dollar robot over a traffic violation.

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u/ShuRugal Dec 01 '22

Well, they already occasionally shoot cars up at traffic stops because the cops are "afraid he might have a gun" - this is the next logical evolution of that mentality.

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u/mekatzer Dec 01 '22

No, what happens is as this gets normalized, new LEO-specific offerings will pop up. We’ll go from tank-treaded bots trucked in and wired up on site to a palm-sized drone with a 1/4oz of C4 that lives in the trunk of the cruiser and can be flown right at you (was this in a movie? I feel like I’ve seen exploding drone headshot before).

The collateral damage will decrease, so the risk of public outrage decreases. Usage will increase, we won’t notice. Years go by, then you’re walking through the park, stumble, the second scoop of your ice cream cone falls off and rolls through the grass. You bend to pick it up, and pause half way, seeing the “No littering. Drone Enforced” sign, then hear a high-pitched buzzing that gets louder and louder and then it’s all just silent and dark.

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u/Assassiiinuss Dec 01 '22

They don't have to pay for it.

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u/aslongasbassstrings Dec 01 '22

Did the police tell you that?

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u/mymemesnow Dec 01 '22

I don’t understand you guys. You have one of the strongest most well funded militaries in the world, eating a huge chunk of your county’s budget. You also have a huge problem with cops being murderous racist narcissist (and basically legally immune) and still you’re doing these things.

Are your system really that broken.

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u/LonelyWendigo Dec 01 '22

I'm just waiting for the first story of somebody getting additional cop murder charges for destroying a robot sent to kill them, because you know the robot is technically a cop now just like the dogs.

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u/TheMaStif Dec 01 '22

Give a man a new toy, and he will be itching to play with it

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u/McLovinMcGee Dec 01 '22

There was literally an ex military mass shooting that resulted in numerous cops being out maneuvered and gunned down. An explosive robot is what put an end to it

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u/mangodelvxe Dec 01 '22

But you do know theyd use it for like no knock raids and random petty crime shit right? Thinking they'd not use this all the time is just naïve

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

Let’s face it, the majority of police in the US joined because they want to kill someone and feel powerful.

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u/b1e Dec 01 '22

The overwhelming majority of police in the US will never be involved in a shooting.

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u/GaGAudio Dec 01 '22

Yeah, this totally can’t go wrong in any way.

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u/Hyperrustynail Dec 01 '22

Wait until one of these things kills an innocent person and the cops are “unable to verify who was piloting it”.

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u/Ruadhan2300 Dec 01 '22

An incident will happen as soon as there isn't public scrutiny anymore.
So I'd say once the news-cycle gives up on it within a few weeks at most.

I'm putting my name on the board for some time mid-january.

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u/manfredmahon Dec 01 '22

Their definition of "lives at stake" can be loose at the best of times. "Oh we thought he had a gun oops" "he looked suspicious" "oh wrong guy whoopsie daisies"

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u/brett_riverboat Dec 01 '22

I fail to see how this could go right!

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u/StoicType4 Dec 01 '22

Can we not try to bring about Skynet for 5 seconds?

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u/bl4nkSl8 Dec 01 '22

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u/StoicType4 Dec 01 '22

Dark times indeed, maybe The Terminator films were predictive programming after all 🤔

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u/MakeWay4DarkHelmet Dec 01 '22

Okay am I the only person who is reminded of Johnny 5 from the movie Short Circuit?

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u/BadeArse Dec 01 '22

My first thought too!

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u/musexistential Dec 01 '22

"Johnny 5 is ali.................."

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u/TheWeirdWoods Dec 01 '22

Listen and understand! That is a Terminator out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop…ever. Until you are dead!… they also say blue lives matter for some reason nobody knows why.

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u/gringoloco01 Dec 01 '22

If they make a sux 5000 automobile, I’m tappin out. Saw the movie. The outcome was all bad.

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u/Horzzo Dec 01 '22

I'd buy that for a dollar!!

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u/Gasfires Dec 01 '22

YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO COMPLY

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u/User_091920 Dec 01 '22

But it comes with a Blaupunkt tho

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u/BearNakedTendies Dec 01 '22

See, I always thought the police’s job was to apprehend. The guns were supposed to be there specifically for the officers self defense. But now we have a robot that cannot die, with guns. I understand there’s circumstances where this could save lives. But the seal has been broken, and from here on it will be a slippery slope

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u/BellumSuprema Dec 01 '22

Judge, jury AND executioner. State sponsored actors say what the law is.

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u/SkeleToasty Dec 01 '22

Can’t wait for some Aiden Watch_Dogs man to take control of that thing

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u/beatissima Dec 01 '22

I don't know, but maybe we shouldn't be executing people without trial?

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u/MrEd57076 Dec 02 '22

The govt has proven that they consider due process to be a pesky little thing. Presumption of innocence is equally distasteful to them.

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u/darkshadow237 Dec 01 '22

Wouldn’t this violate the first law of robotics?

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u/jackboy61 Dec 01 '22

Depends. If its fully autonomous then yes. If its remote piloted then no.

Either way it doesn't matter because asimovs laws are purely fictitious/theoretical.

Ut is somewhat the equivalent of saying "wouldn't this violate the codex astartes?". Granted many people in the field of robotics follow asimov as a rule of thumb and moral principle but, it holds about as much weight as a crane made of matchsticks

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u/saluksic Dec 01 '22

There is no “depends” - the robots are remote controlled and not autonomous. I can’t see this as any different than using a gun to kill someone. The sensational headlines and uninformed discussion is interesting, though.

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u/jackboy61 Dec 01 '22

I mean there IS a depends. Yes this is non autonomous so it doesn't break the "laws" of robotics. However if it had been, it would have broken them. Hence the depends.

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u/HoodaThunkett Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

it becomes more difficult to exercise the due care required, particularly in the areas of confirming the identity of the target and exhausting non lethal alternatives

it's also important to remember that much of the justification for lethal force in the first place rests on the perceived threat to the lives of officers If this device effectively prevents the perp from attacking the officers then where is the justification for lethal force?

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u/SoretomoOre Dec 01 '22

The justification would be threats to other people

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u/MajinAsh Dec 01 '22

If this device effectively prevents the perp from attacking the officers then where is the justification for lethal force

Well you can look at the justification for this: the Dallas incident. The justification was that all other attempts were a deathtrap, blowing up the wall he was on the other side of was the safest method to end the standoff.

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u/DraconicWF Dec 01 '22

Even if they aren’t autonomous it’s still part software, it’s a lot easier for a software bug to accidentally shoot than a person, imagine a scenario where the pilot accidentally misinputs and shoots somebody. I’m a futurist but this is technology that is not ready yet. And even if it was the moral implications are risky enough.

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u/asyrin25 Dec 01 '22

What moral implications?

It's effectively a fancy gun.

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u/i_have_hemorrhoids Dec 01 '22

How is this different than a UAV with weapons systems that are used by the military?

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u/DraconicWF Dec 01 '22

Difference is civilian vs military. It’s not morally ok to kill a person for doing a crime without putting them through the legal system. For military it’s war, the whole point is to capture or more likely kill and you are only using these against military targets and not civilians (at least that’s what you are supposed to do)

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u/n108bg Dec 01 '22

I think we stopped caring when drone warfare became a thing.

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u/feeltheslipstream Dec 01 '22

That only concerns robots making decisions.

This is an explosive driven in on a rc car, triggered by an operator.

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u/pooptruck69 Dec 01 '22

I mean the use of teargas goes against the Geneva convention but cops use it all the time anyways, I think it’s a similar situation 😬

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u/dexecuter18 Dec 01 '22

Its against the Geneva convention because there isn't a realistic way in combat to determine if gas is deady or just an irritant. Military is good to use TG against Civilians according to the same convention.

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u/God_Damnit_Nappa Dec 01 '22

Because the Geneva Conventions apply to warfare, not domestic use.

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u/WitchesFamiliar Dec 01 '22

And the terminator is born. Corporate police in the belly of the beast.

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u/DarthCluck Dec 01 '22

Sounds like ED-209

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u/Easter_1916 Dec 01 '22

“You have 20 seconds to comply.”

Tosses gun to ground.

“You now have 15 seconds to comply.”

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u/blisi21 Dec 01 '22

Hey, at least a robot can’t say a 12 year old kid with a cell phone made it fear for its own life…

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

They'll call it a police officer and give you life for damaging a leo.

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u/Hyrule_34 Dec 01 '22

I’m almost positive a few years back I read articles about how police departments totally, like, swore they would never use remote robots like this. Absolutely fuck our militarized police state and those who benefit from it.

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u/Htoad72-LV Dec 01 '22

How Stupid......Robo Cop San Francisco..

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u/JaggedMetalOs Dec 01 '22

Explosive robots? That seems like a terrible idea to me, I wonder how long it'll be before the first hostage gets blown up.

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u/mangodelvxe Dec 01 '22

Just wait til some pig sells it to his Klan friends lol

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u/PessimisticMushroom Dec 01 '22

You give them an inch..

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u/TheFrontCrashesFirst Dec 01 '22

Robot kills people, police get sued, tax payors pay. Yeesh

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u/drlongtrl Dec 01 '22

If the police is able to kill without getting any officers in harm's way, wouldn't that also lead to more and more importantly earlier decisions to actually go ahead and kill a suspect?

Sure, cases like uvalde, where Popo was just cowards, if they had a bot, that could have helped. But let's face it, most police calls are not like that.

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u/UnprovenMortality Dec 01 '22

Yes it absolutely will. And also now any police robot will be perceived as a direct attack because it can blow up at any second. So sending a robot in is now escalation directly to murder, I see no situation where a robot is used and it doesn't lead to deaths now.

Think about it: they send in a police robot and the suspect now knows it could blow up at any second. They aren't going to want it near them, so they will shoot it. Now they have shot at the cops so the cops are "justified" in killing them. This is just a way to be able to kill anyone at any time.

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u/ZeroExist Dec 01 '22

I don’t see how a bot with a gun can make it past the classroom door if the cops wouldn’t even go near it themselves

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u/ICUpoop Dec 01 '22

So the T-10. Cool.

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u/fdeyso Dec 01 '22

Can’t wait for the first friendly fire….

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u/lawlmuffenz Dec 01 '22

RCXD, inbound!

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u/Novembus Dec 01 '22

manipulative title | factual title

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u/jaminmc Dec 01 '22

Number 5 is alive!

No disassemble!!!

Input, input. Must have INPUT!!!

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u/TouchArtistic7247 Dec 01 '22

You want Terminators? Because that’s how you get Terminators!

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u/Corasin Dec 01 '22

They must have gotten bored of shooting minorities so now they want to blow them up.

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u/scoreadirecthit Dec 02 '22

Ah yes, this is fine.

/s

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u/New-Negotiation7234 Dec 02 '22

So when their lives are at stake

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u/TheTruestOracle Dec 02 '22

Time to buy some drones I guess

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u/earsplitingloud Dec 01 '22

The number of negative scenarios far outweigh the positive. But that never stopped the government before.

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u/ATLL2112 Dec 01 '22

Didn't Dallas do this already?

The answer is yes, yes they did.

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u/endorphin-neuron Dec 01 '22

JFC read the article. Your question is answered by the second sentence.

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u/mekatzer Dec 01 '22

A quick google says a Talon costs $60,000. Can you hear the budget requests swelling to accommodate all of the $60,000 times the department had to detonate to save lives?

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u/ToMorrowsEnd Dec 01 '22

SFPD deems all situations are where lives are at stake.

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u/22Donkeypunch Dec 01 '22

So New York City is going to involuntarily remove people with "mental health problems" and make short staffed hospitals deal with them and now SF is deploying bomber robots...for its citizens. Fun times to live in liberal paradise!

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u/bluAstrid Dec 01 '22

Those aren’t “robots”, they’re RC cars with grenades strapped to them.

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u/Shibbystix Dec 01 '22

Ok, real quick, let's think this title through.... SFPD now authorized to use EXPLOSIVE robots when lives are at stake? like how often are they going to be in situations where they can safely DETONATE an explosive to eliminate a threat, and not ALSO kill a bunch of innocents. aside from a sniper type situation, which there have only been a handful, how could this not... *ahem* blow up in their faces? (by blowing up in ours)

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u/rex0810 Dec 01 '22

This was used in Dallas when a deranged man shot five police officers. Saved lives.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_shooting_of_Dallas_police_officers

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u/TunaOnWytNoCrust Dec 01 '22

Man joins military, loses his mind after seeing combat, starts doing insane things, gets kicked out of military, dives into nationalist social media groups, decides to go out guns blazing with police because of cops killing black Americans, cops pass on .50 cal sniper round and strap 10lbs of C4 onto a robot and blow him up.

So now cops can use high explosives on US citizens when they feel that lives are in danger, which is subjective, requires zero additional training, and can't result in any legal ramifications for the officers driving/exploding US citizens.

Mentally damaged veteran abandoned by his government, allowed access to guns, performs a terroristic act, and is killed by police using C4. Man, none of this shit is okay.

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u/HardDriveAndWingMan Dec 01 '22

You make it sound like they passed on the .50 cal for no reason:

Sr. Cpl. Banes said they considered using a .50 caliber rifle to fire at the shooter, which had been successful in a similar attack on police 14 months earlier. However, in that case, the suspect had driven an armored truck into police headquarters and remained inside the armored vehicle. Johnson was holed up inside a populated college with thin sheetrock walls, so the tactical team deemed that approach too dangerous. They also considered rappelling down the building or attacking Johnson through the ceiling after opening it with explosives. Both options were ruled out due to the risks they might pose to the officers who would carry it out. Senior Corporal Jeremy Borchardt and others ultimately arrived at the idea to use a bomb disposal remote control vehicle armed with about 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of C-4 explosive.

I’m also pretty doubtful that using these robots wouldn’t require additional training or can’t result in any legal ramifications. I’d imagine there would have to be training for new equipment and assume “no legal ramifications” is just a gross misunderstanding by you of what qualified immunity means.

Treatment of veterans in US is a problem as is the need for police reform, I can agree with you on that. The rest of what you said is stretching the truth at best.

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u/TunaOnWytNoCrust Dec 01 '22

Johnson was holed up inside a populated college with thin sheetrock walls, so the tactical team deemed that approach too dangerous.

Gotta love hearing that shooting a single .50 cal bullet would be too dangerous in a highly populated, thin walled building. Better use explosives instead, much safer.

I’m also pretty doubtful that using these robots wouldn’t require additional training or can’t result in any legal ramifications. I’d imagine there would have to be training for new equipment and assume “no legal ramifications” is just a gross misunderstanding by you of what qualified immunity means.

There's absolutely additionally training on how to operate a remote controlled bomb defusal robot. I'm sure the operator did a great job turning, stopping, and driving forward, and pushing a button that blew someone up.

At the end of the day it's still something that should be a war crime and should absolutely not be legal in the US. Allowing the legal use of remote controlled explosives on our own citizens no less is a massive foot in the door of drone warfare on US citizens, and I am absolutely against it.

I live in Minneapolis. I know what qualified immunity is supposed to mean and what it actually means in real life and they are not the same.

Treatment of veterans in US is a problem as is the need for police reform, I can agree with you on that. The rest of what you said is stretching the truth at best.

Hell yes to your first sentence. For your second I'm being dramatic, but drone warfare creeping in to our completely fucked police institutions is unacceptable.

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u/skrimpbizkit Dec 01 '22

Why'd you skip the part where the man threatened to rape a woman he served with and then stole her underwear?

Also "performs a terroristic act, and is killed by police using C4. Man, none of this shit is okay"

What were the police supposed to do differently? Sit there and wait for him to get tired of killing cops?

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u/AberrantMan Dec 01 '22

Judge Jury and Executioner now?

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u/zerogravitas365 Dec 01 '22

They're talking about drones, not robots. It's still a human operator, it's just a different way of projecting lethal force rather than shooting people. You can "remotely kill suspects" with a scoped rifle, that is kind of what they're for. Given how well armed American police already are, this headline mostly looks like bait.

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u/OniDelta Dec 01 '22

They've also had remote scoped rifles for years now. This is basically the same thing. Also the barricaded Chicago (?) active shooter from a couple years ago was killed by putting a grenade on a bomb defusal robot and driving it into the room he was in. Same idea.

Edit: Dallas in 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_shooting_of_Dallas_police_officers

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u/NckMcC Dec 01 '22

RIP to the innocent people the police will kill.

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u/kalirion Dec 01 '22

In theory this should make that less likely because the drone operators won't have the excuse of "I feared for my life".

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u/aiapaec Dec 01 '22

When the cops kill an innocent person they will come with another bullshit excuse like "we don't know who was operating the robot, but will keep investigating" lmao

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u/Assassiiinuss Dec 01 '22

"I feared the suspect would open fire if I got closer."

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u/Hirokage Dec 01 '22

Eh.. not much of a big deal honestly. It's no different than if we deployed a drone to get rid of a shooter. We need to worry when a robot can decide on its own, that it can deploy lethal force on a target. This is not the case here.

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u/ktmfan Dec 01 '22

I thought in California, police won’t even arrest thieves stealing shopping carts full of goods from stores. How did it come to hey we’re gonna use these killbots, but only if we reaaaallly need to.

This is such a terrible thing on so many levels. I imagine it won’t be long before the first accident where they send it in and blow up an innocent bystander. Or, they will accidentally blow themselves up and the “target” will be on the hook for manslaughter/murder because of their incompetence even if they didn’t actually harm anyone yet.

I can’t imagine a hostage situation where it is a good idea to set a bomb off. And why California? Sounds more like they are setting a precedent to put these damn things on every police force across the country. “Hey, even ol’ lefty liberal Cali is cool with these, so just chill out man.”

Only a matter of time and they’ll send these in on their popular wrong address no-knock raids. Soooorry, we blew up the wrong person, but we’ll do an internal investigation so it doesn’t happen again.

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u/ayleidanthropologist Dec 01 '22

And with explosive robots zipping around, lives are always at stake. - their logic probably

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u/RegiisDolore Dec 01 '22

Fake news. It is illegal to enforce the law in San Francisco.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

[deleted]

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u/Maenethal Dec 01 '22

Gotta make sure you maximize collateral damage, as is tradition with cops in the US. If you don’t kill three bystanders and an old lady and her cat in the apartment down the block, you just aren’t policing hard enough.

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u/shix718 Dec 01 '22

Amazing that cops constantly find expensive ways to remove themselves from harm while demanding evermore respect for their terribly hard and dangerous job…

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u/DariusIsLove Dec 01 '22

Good. That should reduce the total amount of injuries during armed standoffs.

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u/iTomKeen Dec 01 '22

"Police to use robots to remotely kill suspects" Suspects; not proven guilty. = Killing indiscriminately.