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San Francisco police can't use deadly robots for now

A San Francisco Police Department patch is shown on an officer's uniform. A new Pew Research Center survey shows changing opinions about law enforcement.
Jeff Chiu
A San Francisco Police Department patch is shown on an officer's uniform in this undated photo.

San Francisco supervisors have voted put the brakes on a controversial policy that would let police use robots for deadly force.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to send the issue back to a committee for further discussion. The board also voted to pass a broader policy on the use of militarized police equipment with explicit language that robots cannot be used in a lethal manner.

It's a reversal from last week's vote allowing the use of robots in limited cases. The police said they had no plans to arm the robots with guns but wanted the ability to put explosives on them in extraordinary circumstances.


Last week's approval generated pushback and criticism about the potential to deploy robots that can kill people.

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