(NewsReady.com) – In November, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to allow the police department to use armed robots. Its decision caused outrage among community members. Now, officials have now reversed course.
On Tuesday, December 6, the city’s supervisors voted to ban the police department from using the deadly robots. The issue is now going back to a committee where officials will revisit it and have further discussions. They could still allow law enforcement to use the bots at a later time.
In a complete reversal, the Board of Supervisors just voted for a military equipment policy that bans police from using robots to kill. Thank you to all the residents and civil rights advocates who made their voices heard!
— Dean Preston (@DeanPreston) December 6, 2022
The policy would have allowed the police department to deploy robots equipped with explosive charges in deadly situations like terrorist attacks or mass shootings. In 2016, the Dallas Police Department deployed a similar weapon to blow up a sniper who had shot 12 cops, murdering five of them.
However, when San Francisco passed the policy, opponents were outraged. Brian Cox, with the Public Defender’s Office, told the board of supervisors that the arguments for the use of the bots were a “false choice,” according to Wired. He claimed it was “predicated on fearmongering and a desire” for the police department to write its own rules. Others worried the further militarization of law enforcement would increase the risk to people of color.
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