Police in San Francisco, USA, may use robots to kill suspects – News

San Francisco city administrators have approved the use of robots by police to kill or incapacitate criminals. The regulation was approved on Tuesday (29) by the Board of Supervisors by 8 votes to 3, despite criticism from civil liberties groups, who warned that the use of machines could increase police lethality.

Under the measure, police robots will only use “the lethal force option when the risk of loss of life to members of the public or officials is imminent and outweighs any other force option available.” It is important to note that these are the same rules as the use of lethal force by human police.

According to data released by The Verge, the city’s police force currently has 17 robots, 12 of them fully operational. In a statement, the government disclosed that it has no plans to arm the machines it has, but has not excluded the possibility of buying more modern ones in the future.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a police department in the country has used a robot to kill a criminal. In 2016, agents in Dallas, Texas, armed a bomb disposal robot to kill a man who fired at a rally and killed five police officers.

ALSO READ: San Francisco bans police officers from using facial recognition

A day before the regulation was approved, the NGO Electronic Frontier Foundation criticized the use of military equipment in a civilian context.

In a blog post, the organization also said that the law has “an incredibly broad language”, since it is up to the rulers themselves to define exactly what an “extreme” and risky situation is.

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