The San Francisco Board of Supervisors may soon give police the opportunity to deploy lethal, remote-controlled robots to kill suspects in "extreme circumstances," per ABC 3340.
On Tuesday (November 29), the 11-member board is set to vote on whether police in San Francisco will be allowed to use the "killer robots," a proposed policy that has faced backlash from police oversight groups, the San Francisco Public Defender's office, and more.
Police oversight groups say the robots would lead to further militarization of the force, which is already disproportionately aggressive with poor and minority communities. They also argue that the guidelines for when it is necessary to deploy the lethal machines are too vague.
The San Francisco Police Department said that robots will not be armed with guns, but with explosive charges "to contact, incapacitate, or disorient violent, armed, or dangerous suspect" when lives are at risk.
"Robots equipped in this manner would only be used in extreme circumstances to save or prevent further loss of innocent lives," SFPD spokesperson Allison Maxie said in a statement.
However, the policy doesn't explicitly state how the robots can and cannot be equipped, which means there is still an option to arm them.
"Robots will only be used as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to SFPD," it says.
In a letter to the board, the San Francisco Public Defender's Office said Monday that granting police "the ability to kill community members remotely" goes against the city's progressive values.