San Francisco Halts ‘Killer Robots’ Police Policy Following Backlash – Slashdot



San Francisco Chronicle: San Francisco supervisors have walked back their approval of a controversial policy that would have allowed police to kill suspects with robots in extreme cases. Instead of granting final authorization to the policy Tuesday in its second of two required votes, the Board of Supervisors reversed course and voted 8-3 to explicitly prohibit police from using remote-controlled robots with lethal force. It was a rare step: The board’s second votes on local laws are typically formalities that don’t change anything. But the board’s initial 8-3 approval of the deadly robot policy last week sparked a wave of public outcry from community members and progressive supervisors who threatened to go to the ballot if their colleagues did not change their minds on Tuesday. After approving a new version of the police policy that bans officers from using robots to kill dangerous suspects such as mass shooters and suicide bombers, supervisors separately sent the original deadly robot provision of the policy back for further review. The board’s Rules Committee may now choose to refine that provision — placing tighter limits on when police can use bomb-bearing robots with deadly force — or abandon it entirely, leaving in place the prohibition passed Tuesday. Supervisors are expected to take a final vote on the new version of the policy that bans deadly robots — for now, at least — next week.

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