If passed, a new San Francisco Police policy would give Robots guns

San Francisco Police could use robots to kill if the new proposal passes the board of supervisors next week.

A Proposal that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has put forth, would allow the department to kill suspects using remotely controlled robots.

The policy draft has come under heavy criticism, which happens to coincide with an ongoing lawsuit from Boston Dynamics after another company reappropriated a machine gun to one of its robot dogs. 

sfpd robot gun
Credit: Vox

According to the proposal, the policy will allow the use of deadly force by specific weaponized remotely-piloted, but only under specific circumstances. 

The proposal states:

“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 assessments,” 

“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.” 

The proposal outlines, that not just one kind of robot is to be utilized, but several, including small, deployable bomb disposal and reconnaissance models. Including a REMOTEC F6A, a particularly formidable-looking robot, fitted with a large robotic arm, and the QinetiQ TALON, which can be fitted with different weapons.  

Remote robots or drones have been used in the conflict in Ukraine, with one used in 2016 by the Dallas police department to drop an explosive on a sniper, which the US police department has technically marked as it’s first robot killing.