SF Board of Supervisors approves police murder drones.

Supes approve killer robots, 8-3:

Only Sups. Hillary Ronen, Dean Preston, and Shamann Walton voted against the plan. So much for a progressive majority. Even Sup. Gordon Mar, who already lost his re-election and has nothing more to lose, voted with the police.

[...] It's a huge precedent that has received national attention. San Francisco, the progressive city, has approved a policy that gives the cops another potentially very dangerous tool to use in what are, frankly, vague situations.

Yes, the rules say that only very senior officers can authorize the killer robots -- but given the way senior cops have authorized and defended a lot of completely unacceptable killings in this town, that doesn't blunt the impact of the decision.

It does suggest that the media-hyped Fear of Crime that led to some of the worst criminal-justice policies in modern history in the 1980s is back, in this city, right now.

These supervisors voted in favor of allowing SFPD to execute people by remote control:

Connie Chan, Catherine Stefani, Ahsha Safai, Aaron Peskin, Myrna Melgar, Gordon Mar, Rafael Mandelman, and, to the surprise of nobody, Matt Dorsey.

Dean Preston's dissenting statement:

Today's vote approving the San Francisco Police Department's dystopian military equipment policy -- which will allow SFPD to use robots to kill people -- is deeply disturbing. It is frankly embarrassing that the Board approved this policy based on nothing more than nonsensical hypotheticals [...]

This is a sad moment for our City, and one which shows how far the City has strayed from the reckoning on police violence in 2020. Allowing police to arm remote-controlled robots on the streets of San Francisco is dangerous, and like any other weapons used by police, will place Black and brown people in disproportionate danger of harm or death.

In contrast to the SFPD's fear-mongering hypotheticals, we don't have to look far to see why this decision could put San Franciscans in danger. We have plenty of examples of police using questionable or unjustified deadly force here at home. We also have examples of misuse of bombs and other explosives all over the country. Those include...

SFPD clarified that it would not arm robots with guns. Instead, they would be equipped with explosives.

Update: After a week of press, letters, and an in-person protest, the supervisors voted to send it back to committee for rewrites. Mandelman, Stefani, and Dorsey voted against that, holding firm on their position that it's cool for SFPD to murder suspects by drone.

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14 Responses:

  1. sleep says:

    i’m never going back to america

    • Jim says:

      I'm going back to SF so I can specifically ask the dufuses in the supervisor districts where this was voted for how they intend to unseat the fascists who voted for this, and yell at them if they don't have a plan.

  2. Kurt Nelson says:

    I really put blame on local TV news. Most of the stations are constantly spreading Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt about 'crime' in San Francisco to the wider not-SF audience. Suburbanites then moved into the city during/post-COVID due to rental availability, and now we have whatever flavor of not-progressivism this is.

  3. spoonyfork says:

    I only approve of this if the murderbot will teabag me before streaming an appropriate TikTok dance over my body as I lay gurgling in my own blood.

  4. Rodger says:

    I feel as though maybe Paul Verhoeven should try making some happy films, just to see if reality follows his utopias as well as his dystopias.

  5. ChoHag says:

    I don't think you quite understand...

    You have 20 seconds to comply.

  6. Birdy says:

    Instead, they would be equipped with explosives.

    Oh, thank goodness. I am sure everyone feels much safer now.

    • SteveSmith says:

      Technically that makes them murder-suicide-drones, which has a nicer ring to it.

      • Karellen says:

        You know when you're living in an actual dystopia when... someone unironically says about a thing that is really happening "suicide bomber has a nicer ring to it".

    • MattyJ says:

      Bullets are explosives, and there are things that are not considered guns that can fire them. I'm calling shenanigans.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That's a misleading title on the blog post. I was all set to support "police murder drones," like from the movie Runaway with Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons, but you actually mean murderous drones used by the police.

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