New Delhi: Following the institutional killing of two black men – Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – by police in the United States, two snipers opened fire into a Black Lives Matter rally on Thursday which resulted in the death of 5 police officers. When the snipers were eventually taken down by the police, the questions did not die there.
Dallas police Chief David Brown said in a press briefing on Friday that Dallas police had deployed a bomb robot to kill the sniper when all hopes of negotiating a surrender with the sniper broke down. Exclaiming that other options “would have exposed our officers to grave danger”, Brown said that police had fitted a bomb on a bomb disposal robot which was then remote-controlled and detonated near the sniper.
Many cheered the action taken by the Dallas police, but some were unhappy and suspicious about the notion of using an autonomous machine to defuse a tense situation. If the usages of robots carrying bombs become a usual phenomenon, this could impend for other non-governmental organisations deploying the same tactic. With artificial intelligence increasing the autonomous capacity of a robot, many have expressed consternation over the development machines which could lead to disastrous war-like consequences.
“I have real mixed feelings about the #bombrobot #Dallas,” wrote one on Twitter.
Another user tweeted, “Was the taser robot busy? #bombrobot”
A total of eleven officers were shot during the Dallas protest, five of whom succumbed to their injuries.