In the span of about a week, San Franciso authorized police to kill suspects with remote-controlled robots… then reversed their decision. The fact that this was floated is disturbing. The idea that this can still be allowed is nightmarish. How many movies have been made on this bad premise? Back in 2016, an active shooter targeting police officers was stopped by a bomb disposal robot, and the outcry was huge. I struggle with the idea of allowing us to move in a direction, even when ostensibly to save lives, where it involves something other than a human being to make the decision to take the action. Even when you consider a remote-controlled unit as just an extension of a police officer, the potential to move down this road further at a later point is not good.
San Francisco’s board of supervisors have reversed a controversial policy allowing police to use remote-controlled robots to kill suspects. Critics said the policy could potentially encourage the use of lethal force by police.