SFPD authorized to kill suspects using robots in draft policy

policy proposal heading for Board of Supervisors approval next week would explicitly authorize San Francisco police to kill suspects using robots.

The new policy, which defines how the SFPD is allowed to use its military-style weapons, was put together by the police department. Over the past several weeks, it has been scrutinized by supervisors Aaron Peskin, Rafael Mandelman and Connie Chan, who together comprise the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee.

The draft policy faces criticism from advocates for its language on robot force, as well as for excluding hundreds of assault rifles from its inventory of military-style weapons and for not including personnel costs in the price of its weapons.

Peskin, chair of the committee, initially attempted to limit the SFPD’s authority over the department’s robots by inserting the sentence, “Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person.”