The San Francisco City Council apparently had too many concerns before the final vote on killing police robots: the project was rejected for the time being.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, a kind of city council, has banned the originally approved use of killing police robots in a second vote. After the city council initially approved the killing of dangerous offenders by remote-controlled robots by a vote of eight to three on November 29, 2022, the board now rejected the project with the same vote, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Instead, the city council explicitly banned the use of robots by the San Francisco police force to eliminate gunmen or suicide bombers. The original application is sent back to a sub-committee, where it is either modified or rejected.
It's unusual for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to change their mind on the second vote: Normally, the second vote is just a formality. In the week between the two votes, however, there was resistance to the first decision, both from the public and from the city councilors themselves.
Sentiment has turned against the project
Supervisor Dean Preston, in particular, along with the other councilors, called for the decision to be reversed. Preston and others feared the measure could be abused. The deputy announced that a referendum would be organized in the event of a second approval. In view of the equally negative public opinion, the other deputies apparently changed their minds.
Advocates of the killer robots argue that remote-controlled killing would only have been used in an absolute emergency. Previously, the San Francisco police force would have failed to use standard methods of subduing offenders. In addition, the use of robots should have been explicitly allowed by a high-ranking police officer.
The robots should be equipped with explosive charges that should incapacitate a perpetrator. The tracked vehicles should not be equipped with firearms. In addition, the robots that are used in everyday police work, for example, to defuse bombs, should not be armed all the time. Instead, they should be equipped with an explosive charge for the respective application.
Police robots have already been used deadly in the United States. In Dallas in 2016, a robotic explosive device killed a gunman who had shot dead five police officers.
Support the Creator, Support Journalism
Your Support Can Help Us Bring More Investigative and Quality Content For You. Buy Me a Coffee Here!