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Ron Patton | October 19, 2022

The Oakland Police Department is now pursuing the option of using robot cops and machine-accurate surveillance to patrol its city. The question of whether robots originally designed for defusing bombs should be converted into remote-controlled guns taps into several topics at the center of national debates: police using lethal force, the militarization of American life, and, not least of all, killer robots. These Bot Cops along with many other A.I. machines have the potential to inch us closer to a planned technological Armageddon. Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks about BOT COP – MASS SURVEILLANCE AND MECHANIZED DEATH.







It can be said that while we are comfortable with our illusion of control in this world, we are blind to the fact that little-by-little, we have handed control over to the machines.

While the majority of the world is unaware, few who are woke know that we are now in upheaval amid a new, even more, sweeping technological revolution whose consequences we have failed to fully reckon with, and whose culmination may be a world relying on machines powered by data and algorithms and ungoverned by ethical or philosophical norms.

The ability to target micro-groups has broken up the previous consensus on where our priorities lie by permitting a focus on specialized purposes or grievances. Political leaders, overwhelmed by niche pressures, are deprived of time to think or reflect on context — and so we may see the day when President decrees by a mandate that those who speak against his policies are considered traitors and or terrorists.

This has always been the modus operandi of the FBI. To shut down by any means necessary anti-government sentiment, harass activists, and terrorize Americans into compliance.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, the FBI’s targets were civil rights activists, those suspected of having Communist ties, and anti-war activists. In more recent decades, the FBI has expanded its reach to target so-called domestic extremists, environmental activists, and those who oppose the police state.

Back in 2019, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism, without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach.

While Trump used the FBI sparingly — Biden has now used them as a sort of Gestapo — and with new technology, there will be powerful machines that will do the handy work of the hired killers who are told to go after human killing machines and terrorists.

There is an element of this season that is not often talked about but certainly is a part of Halloween, and that is the story of a marauding killer or even a mammoth machine that is programmed to kill and kill again.

These killers seem to be eternal and can be compared to autonomous killing machines that go through anything from a summer camp filled with cheerleaders to anyone who finds themselves having sex in a room full of chainsaws. Most of these films are considered slasher and torture films — and there are others that mask themselves in science fiction such as renegade robot killing machines found in Robocop, Bladerunner or the Terminator.

The symbolic dimension is indeed central in science fiction. Moreover, its symbolism does not draw from the past, as in the case of myth, but turns to the future, which it attempts to predict and foreshadow.

The fears of a crime ridden city patrolled by robot cops, or a place being searched and menaced by a machine from the future is no longer science fiction.

Oakland police are pursuing the option of using robot cops and machine accurate surveillance to patrol the city.

In a series of little noted Zoom meetings this fall, the city of Oakland, California grappled with a question whose consequences could shape the future of American policing: Should cops be able to kill people with shotgun-armed robots?

The back-and-forth between the Oakland Police Department and a civilian oversight body concluded with the police relinquishing their push for official language that would have allowed them to kill humans with robots under certain circumstances. It was a concession to the civilian committee, which pushed to bar arming robots with firearms — but a concession only for the time being.

The department said it will continue to pursue lethal options. When asked whether the Oakland Police Department will continue to advocate for language that would allow killer robots under certain emergency circumstances, Lt. Omar Daza-Quiroz, who represented the department in discussions over the authorized robot use policy, told The Intercept, “Yes, we are looking into that and doing more research at this time.”

The controversy began at the September 21 meeting of an Oakland Police Commission subcommittee, a civilian oversight council addressing what rules should govern the use of the city’s arsenal of military-grade police equipment. According to California state law, police must seek approval from a local governing body, like a city council, to determine permissible uses of military equipment or weapons like stun grenades and drones. Much of the September meeting focused on the staples of modern American policing, with the commissioners debating the permissible uses of flash-bang grenades, tear gas, and other now-standard equipment with representatives from the Oakland Police Department.

Roughly two hours into the meeting, however, the conversation moved on to the Oakland police’s stable of robots and their accessories. One such accessory is the gun-shaped “percussion actuated nonelectric disruptor,” a favorite tool of bomb squads at home and at war. The PAN disruptor affixes to a robot and directs an explosive force — typically a blank shotgun shell or pressurized water — at suspected bombs while human operators remain at a safe distance.

Now of course this is a rudimentary Bot cop that looks nothing like Robo cop — but picture in your mind an 800 pound Roomba fitted with a powerful gun that can put a hole the size of a soccer ball in the family station wagon.

The question of whether robots originally designed for defusing bombs should be converted into remote-controlled guns taps into several topics at the center of national debates: police using lethal force, the militarization of American life, and, not least of all, killer robots.

Some observers say the Oakland police’s robot plan contradicts itself. It’s billed as a de-escalation facilitator, but they want to keep it open as a potential lethal weapon.

As with any high-tech toy, the temptation to use advanced technology may surpass whatever institutional guardrails the police have in place.

Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said, “The ease of use of weapons as well as the dangerous legal precedence justifying the casual use of weapons makes police less likely to attempt to de-escalate situations.

If you have a robot toy to take out a suspect — you can do it all by remote control.

It literally lowers the psychological hurdle for enacting violence when it’s just a button you can push — and the robot turns a suspect into shredded wheat.

The Oakland Police Department’s assurances that a gun-toting robot would be subject to departmental use-of-force policy did not seem to satisfy critics. Nor did the messenger have a record that inspires confidence.

The concern is, then, less that police would use a gun toting  robot in “certain catastrophic, high-risk, high-threat, mass casualty events” — as the tentative policy language favored by the department currently reads — but that such a robot would be rolled out when the police simply want to get lethal. The vagaries of what precisely constitutes a “high-risk” event or who determines the meaning of “high threat” affords the police too much latitude.

Would a gun toting robot be considered an unfair advantage and would it be considered overkill in a typical standoff?

Oakland police would get to use a robot to kill someone whenever they decide they need a robot to kill someone. That is, when you have a hammer — everything looks like a nail.

Now imagine a worldwide police force that includes autonomous drones and retrofitted robot vacuum cleaners with heavy artillery.

This is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Back in 2016 there was a controversy over the Dallas police cobra unit using a Robot to kill a suspect. It was the first time U.S. police officers have used a robot to kill someone, according to Texas and national experts.

After sniper fire struck 12 police officers at a rally in downtown Dallas, killing five, police cornered a single suspect in a parking garage. After a prolonged exchange of gunfire and a five-hour-long standoff, police made what experts say was an unprecedented decision: to send in a police robot, jury-rigged with a bomb.

Officers used C4 to kill the suspect — police say that they had no other option.

The decision to use the robot drew a lot of attention for its inventiveness in the face of a challenging and violent situation with few good options. But the incident also led to calls for the drafting of clearer law enforcement policy about lethal or potentially lethal uses of robots.

What is most disconcerting, however, is that the government has these weapons at their disposal.

The President made it quite clear during a rally when he said that the second amendment needs to be limited — and that you will need more than a gun to topple a tyrannical government.

He said:

“For those brave right-wing Americans who say [the Second Amendment] is all about keeping America independent and safe, if you want to fight against the country, you need an F-15. You need something a little more than a gun.”

He basically stated that the people are no match for what they have militarily to use against you. So you might as well give up before they use a robot to enter your home to kill you — an autonomous drone to fly above you and shoot you.

Politics aside, the message is clear: this is how the government will deal with anyone who challenges its authority.

Unfortunately, while these overreaching, heavy-handed lessons in how to rule by force have become standard operating procedures for a government that communicates with its citizenry primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear, none of this is new.

The government has been playing these mind games for a long time.

The idea of using robots and A.I. in crime scenes isn’t just a talking point for the Dallas shootings or for the Oakland police department. The idea of using deadly force and special paramilitary units and even international police to fight this type of crime is becoming more prevalent, in that you will be seeing the same type of enforcement here in the United States with all of the trappings of international enforcement and military tactics.

Six years ago — this was, again, an issue as CIA General Counsel Stephen Preston went on the record as saying that “American citizens are not immune from being treated like an enemy if they take up arms against the United States.”

Furthermore, they are not immune from being treated like a potential enemy if they protest, assemble with groups or even have the slightest connection to a well-known terrorist organization, foreign or domestic.

You don’t have to assemble bombs, threaten schoolchildren, or burn a flag to be under suspicion. If any of the police agencies, alphabet agencies, para-military units or even U.N. troops involved with enforcement tactics suspect you are a threat to the government – you will not see the light of day.

Or using a sick metaphor — the light of day will be seen through you as a robot could easily aerate your body with big bullet holes.

There are still a majority of Americans who take the government’s word that deadly force utilized by these agencies will only be used on terrorists and insurgents.

However, that is naïve and there are a lot of people who have been under the gun and harassed by alphabet agencies and government-paid security just because they fit a certain profile that has nothing to do with guilt or any other associations with so-called terrorists.

America has been designated a human hunting ground, as gunmen who have military grade ordinances have been shooting up shopping malls, movie theaters, religious complexes and other fishbowl targets — these activities certainly harden the resolve of lawmakers who feel that the police should be either mechanized or militarized.

There is also the supported idea of extrajudicial executions now that the country has become a war zone — and so the 14th and 15th amendments appear to have been suspended which indicates that we are at war with ourselves.

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a due process clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the due process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law.[1] The Supreme Court of the United States interprets the clauses more broadly because these clauses provide four protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings), substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Due process ensures the rights and equality of all citizens.

The extremist manufactured opposition, the media figures and the court of public opinion who attempt to exploit high-profile tragedies like these for their own gain are winning the battle in the dialogue that demands strict controls and no Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment rights, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendment rights of due process.

It is all for the authoritarian state that most Americans foolishly believe will play the game fairly allowing the continuation of gun rights in this country.

Not even thinking for one minute that if they are asked to give up the guns they too have to make the decision to rebel or give up.

The police, the military or even an international paramilitary unit could be charged with the task of collecting these guns.

Then we can all bring up the hollow question: Would an American police officer or soldier shoot an American citizen? Why would they have to if they have a robot that can do it by remote control?

A robot equipped with weaponry that will ensure coerced compliance.

Extremists’ tactics have now been upgraded, the suspected extremists are now creating a warzone and police need to upgrade their weapons and the use of high-tech A.I. will be the next step.

But should we support this action? Do criminals need to be apprehended or shot by robots — and what happens if someone decided to SWAT a house — as a sick joke — and a robot shoots an innocent person?

Indeed, all of the many complaints we have about the government today — surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, and overcriminalization have been around for decades.

But this was handled by humans and not robots.

When you find yourself in the government’s crosshairs, it will not matter whether your skin is black or yellow or brown or white; it will not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen; it will not matter whether you’re rich or poor; it will not matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat; and it certainly won’t matter who you voted for in the last presidential election.

Today, dozens of the largest U.S. law enforcement agencies have at least one robot, according to experts. And many smaller departments are just a phone call away from having access to a nearby agency’s device.

Under a federal government program that supplies excess military equipment to civil agencies, the number of agencies that have acquired a robot has climbed dramatically.

In Illinois, the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department has two robots equipped to disable and even kill suspects. These robots were made available through the Pentagon’s 1033 program which allows police departments to use military surplus weaponry to aid in enforcing the law.

As military-grade robotics get cheaper and more capable, more of them will be armed and will eventually patrol American streets.

How do I know?

Because reactionary politics serves the police state and Americans who believe that death tech will not be used on them welcome the idea of having killer robots take out suspects rather than the officers themselves.

While violence from either side of the Thin Blue Line should be neither tolerated nor condoned, the militarization of police forces, in both equipment and training, has now created the need for robo cops which creates an air of coerced compliance as the human element of shooting or killing American citizens is taken out of the picture and left up to a mechanical death bot.

Much like the Golem or the Homunculus, mankind wants to create a superior machine capable of solving its problems and meeting its needs. On the surface, this sounds pretty harmless. However, the technocracy has now demonstrated that they are no longer satisfied with simple A.I. companions, or with using technology to enhance and better our lives. They are now creating technology that will coerce compliance.

With the militarization of police capabilities, there are many Americans that believe that it is reasonable to use robotics in this way to ensure compliance. If one doesn’t have to talk to a subject and can demand compliance, then this may mean more forceful or coercive demands can be made — who are you to argue with a robot?

It is naïve to think that the robots of the future used for law enforcement will never approach you — or harm you in any way because you think you are by no means doing anything to worry about.

It seems inevitable that every modern technological advance will be somehow factored into killing people. One can fully expect that these kinds of systems will be developed for local police force use as well.

With thousands of robots operated by hundreds of police departments across the country, those concerned by the prospect of shotgun robots on the streets of Oakland or elsewhere refer to what they say is a clear antecedent with other militarized hardware: mission creep.

Once a technology is feasible and permitted, it tends to linger. Just as drones, mine-proof trucks, and Stingray devices drifted from Middle Eastern battlefields to American towns.

This is more than pointing out a slippery slope — it is about the slide to mechanized death and the militarization of police all over the world.

In the race for extinction — which our proud technological nations are carrying out undeterred by that “minor” collateral damage thing, i.e., the death of all of us — there are many machines that have the potential to inch us closer to a planned technological Armageddon.


Written by Ron Patton


This post currently has 14 comments.

  1. Greg

    October 20, 2022 at 5:36 am

    Its definitely coming. They talk on the news a lot about shortages of new recruits for the military and police. They say there are less qualified people around and fewer are signing up. They will probably start by placing these robo cops in big cities in places like times square. So they will be like security guards. Or like the tv show Knight Rider the vehicles have the capability to be autonomous. Instead of horse mounted police there could be robo bikes or ATVs that police ride on then dismount and send the riderless vehicle to run security or scout ahead.

  2. SARGE

    October 20, 2022 at 1:27 pm


  3. joe

    October 20, 2022 at 2:43 pm


  4. SARGE

    October 23, 2022 at 10:00 pm


Comments are closed.

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