Last night, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted yes on a policy approving police use of robots that can use lethal force. The policy was passed 8 to 3. Authorizing a robot to kill can only come from one of two San Francisco Police Department top officials. From the SF Chronicle:
"There could be an extraordinary circumstance where, in a virtually unimaginable emergency, they might want to deploy lethal force to render, in some horrific situation, somebody from being able to cause further harm," Supervisor Aaron Peskin said to his colleagues, describing the police's justification for wanting to kill someone with a robot[…]
While the department said it has no plans to outfit robots with a gun, the robots in its arsenal could be equipped with explosive charges to breach structures containing violent suspects or used to contact or incapacitate violent suspects "who pose a risk of loss of life to law enforcement," Rueca said[…]
But several supervisors remained deeply skeptical that police need the extraordinary ability to kill someone with a robot. Supervisors Dean Preston, Hillary Ronen and Shamann Walton voted against the policy.
"This is a local police force here to protect us. This is not the U.S. military that we are arming," Preston said at the board meeting. "There is serious potential for misuse and abuse of this military-grade technology, and zero showing of necessity."