The San Francisco police department has submitted a petition to the city's Board of Directors to deploy robots capable of killing suspects should the need arise.
What would justify using a dystopian robot to end a life you may be asking?
Try any sufficient threat that includes scenarios where the
"risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to SFPD."
So potentially every dangerous situation.
The proposal has already seen significant opposition from the board. Board Supervisor Aaron Peskin, initially changed the language to read,
"Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person."
The San Francisco police department used a thick red marker to nix the Supervisor's wording and returned to the deadly force wording. They're apparently really, serious about having some killer robots available.
Rather than fighting back, Peskin caved into the police department's wording, saying,
"The original policy they submitted was actually silent on whether robots could deploy lethal force. There could be scenarios where deployment of lethal force was the only option."
I can only imagine what that would be in San Francisco!
Currently robotic use-of-force is not approved or prohibited in the city, but a rules committee approved the current killer robot language, and it will go before the full board next week.
In other cities, robots have already been used to kill suspects. Remember the 2016 sharpshooter in Dallas that was picking off police officers? They got him with plastic explosives strapped to a robot.
However, a similar proposal in Oakland, California, did not pass through its board of directors, and activists trying to demilitarize the police are already protesting the San Francisco proposal.
I kind of feel like they're pushing back the inevitable at best.