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Robotics AI Crime Technology

Robot Snatches Rifle From Barricaded Suspect, Ends Standoff (latimes.com) 129

Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes the L.A. Times: An hours-long standoff in the darkness of the high desert came to a novel end when Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect, authorities said Thursday. Officials said the use of the robot to disarm a violent suspect was unprecedented for the Sheriff's Department, and comes as law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on military-grade technology to reduce the risk of injury during confrontations with civilians.

"The robot was a game changer here," said Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Sheriff's Department -- the largest sheriff's department in the nation. "We didn't have to risk a deputy's life to disarm a very violent man."

It was only later when the robot came back to also pull down a wire barricade that the 51-year-old suspect realized his gun was gone.
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Robot Snatches Rifle From Barricaded Suspect, Ends Standoff

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  • They disarmed him? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @06:50AM (#52911175)

    What happened to sending in the robot with a bomb to kill the suspect?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, this is not American. I'm pretty sure they violated his Second Amendment rights by disarming rather than killing him.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2016 @07:44AM (#52911319)

        Police officer fired for not shooting a suspect:
        http://www.post-gazette.com/lo... [post-gazette.com]
        (not the Onion).

        • by PrimaryConsult ( 1546585 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @10:00AM (#52911815)

          This deserves an up-vote; further proof that law enforcement agencies are actively trying to filter out anyone who thinks on the job. They thought an ex-marine would be trigger happy like the rest of them, forgetting that the actual marines need to think on their feet to avoid international incidents.

        • He was fired for endangering his colleagues and innocent bystanders. If you risk your own life to make a live arrest of an armed and dangerous perp who's clearly not going to submit, that's your decision, but he could easily have caused the deaths of others. And it wasn't the only offense he was fired for -- this was his third strike.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            My read: He was fired for showing up his colleagues and department.

            You know that saying about how B-level managers hire C-level people, because they see A-level people as a threat? It applies to B-level police chiefs as well.

          • Not according to the chief who recommended termination or the city manager who actually fired him. They say it had nothing to do with the shooting.

            This officer is wrong about one thing. He should find a decent lawyer. In PA you can fire someone without giving a reason but if you fire someone for cause it has to be legal. The city now says the officer was fired for the two earlier incidents, but he was never reprimanded. The letter of termination had two pages detailing what the officer did wrong in the sho

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, you see, this guy probably isn't black, and probably didn't kill any of their cop buddies, so instead of being outright executed he gets to have his day in court.
      • by tomhath ( 637240 )
        He also wasn't shooting at them.
        • by Calydor ( 739835 )

          Only because they took his gun! That's unconstitutional!

        • He also wasn't shooting at them.

          Neither was Tyre King or Tamir Rice, and that didn't stop police from gunning them down. In fact, they didn't even have real guns.

          http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us... [nbcnews.com]

          http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireS... [go.com]

          • by tomhath ( 637240 )
            Okay, I'll correct myself to say he didn't point what looked like a gun at them in a manner that made them think he was going to shoot them.
            • Okay, I'll correct myself to say he didn't point what looked like a gun at them in a manner that made them think he was going to shoot them.

              You need to add, "...while black".

              Remember this guy at the Bundy standoff in Nevada?

              http://static1.businessinsider... [businessinsider.com]

          • Pulling a BB gun that looks like a handgun and pointing it at police should be expected to result in that action. Would you rather the police instead got shot if it were a real firearm? Do you expect the police to be able to distinguish between a firearm and a BB gun designed to appear as a firearm?

            • Pulling a BB gun that looks like a handgun and pointing it at police should be expected to result in that action.

              How about pulling an actual sniper rifle and pointing it at police?

              http://static1.businessinsider... [businessinsider.com]

              http://cloudfront.mediamatters... [mediamatters.org]

              • What does that have to do with the particular incidents you talked about that I responded to?

                Pulling a gun on a police officer in a threatening manner often will lead to your death, even if the gun turns out to be a BB gun designed to look like a handgun.

                • Pulling a gun on a police officer in a threatening manner often will lead to your death, even if the gun turns out to be a BB gun designed to look like a handgun.

                  If you're black, you don't even need to pull a gun. You just need to be black.

                  https://www.yahoo.com/news/vid... [yahoo.com]

                  • Because of course, certain isolated incidents are now the normal and indicate that this is what the police are supposed to do?

                    These incidents happen with white people all the time, but because they aren't black, it doesn't even make more than the local news. Supposedly being a police officer is scary, but maybe if we removed those officers who are proven to do the wrong thing, things will start getting better. However, trying to hold police to some kind of higher standard when the shootings are justified.

                    • certain isolated incidents

                      There have been 15 black men killed by police just since Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem a couple of weeks ago. They're not "isolated incidents" any more.

                      And if "pulling a gun on law enforcement" is what it takes to get shot by police, why is the guy who set up with his sniper rifle and trained it on FBI at the Bundy standoff still walking around without repercussions?

                      You know your story about the kid with the BB gun getting killed by police? Look what happens

                    • Or perhaps that is different people acting in different ways and different situations dealt with in different ways.

                      How many white people have been killed by police? How many of the black people were in the process of committing a crime? How many were justified self defense? You act like every time a black person dies by police, it is all about the police being in the wrong. Do you expect that the police aren't subject to the same justice as a citizen?

                    • Do you expect that the police aren't subject to the same justice as a citizen?

                      We've seen for certain that police are not subject to the same justice as citizens.

                      http://www.motherjones.com/pol... [motherjones.com]

                    • The fact that you point at that as some kind of miscarriage of justice just shows how wrong you are. You do realize that that one was ruled self defense, and that every witness except the kid's friend said that Wilson was defending himself? I suppose when your view is so slanted, even justified self defense looks like murder, but I suppose you think that someone who assaulted a police officer, tried to take his gun, and discharged the firearm within the car somehow was innocent?

                    • The fact that you point at that as some kind of miscarriage of justice just shows how wrong you are. You do realize that that one was ruled self defense, and that every witness except the kid's friend said that Wilson was defending himself?

                      You mention only one of the many cases described in that article. Some police officer were found guilty and still received no punishment.

                      There are two clear videos of Terrence Crutcher being shot down by police (who all had tazers by the way). From two different angles,

    • What happened to sending in the robot with a bomb to kill the suspect?

      That's step 2 of this plan for "confrontation with civilians".

    • What happened to sending in the robot with a bomb to kill the suspect?

      He was a white guy. If he'd been black, they would have nuked him from space.

    • That suspect was holding his rifle and actively searching all around him for any threats. The robot positioned the explosives out of sight, behind a brick wall [cnn.com]. Technically the robot wasn't needed - a person could've done it. But the Dallas Police decided to sacrifice the robot rather than risk sending a person in there to plant the explosives.

      If you read TFA, in this case the suspect was lying prone on his stomach, with the rifle at his feet. The police distracted him by yelling at him over megaphon
    • Ran out of bombs? This IS law enforcement we're talking about; they're keeping KAOS at bay...
    • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

      What happened to sending in the robot with a bomb to kill the suspect?

      That's so last month. Self awareness is just around the corner. Next - skynet.

  • I see Cyberdyne Systems shares are up today.
  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @07:23AM (#52911285)
    The robots have begun to steal weapons. It's only a matter of time before the uprising starts.
    • by pedz ( 4127433 )

      The government that governs least governs best. The citizenry that cares the least gets governed worst.

      I don't care. I just want an iPhone with the bigger GBs.

  • by orlanz ( 882574 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @07:40AM (#52911315)

    The boring short version: So they noticed the idiot left his gun at his feet while laying flat on his belly in a small dune with a wire fence. The operator extended the arm through the wire fence and yanked it out. With the police up front and a helicopter above, he didn't notice.

    I guess ExtendaReach to the rescue? I feel sorry for the operators who don't get any credit. I wonder if those firefighter axes got similar treatment. "Firefighter Ax clears way out of burning building for trapped firefighter and baby."

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )

      I feel sorry for the operators who don't get any credit.

      If you had bothered to read the first sentence of the summary you would know that they did get credit.

      Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect

    • Yeah, I was wondering how someone wouldn't notice a robot sneaking up on him, but now I know. What kind of moron puts down his weapon like that? (Answer, a total nutbag, apparently.)

  • Public: "Human lives matter!"
    Cops: "Bite my shiny metal ass!"

  • Yiip Yap (Score:4, Interesting)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Sunday September 18, 2016 @08:11AM (#52911389)

    It seems every time someone discovers how to do old thing on a new medium and it makes news. Put missiles on a drone, bully someone online, use a new technology to commit a heinous crime? All of these things received widespread news coverage, when they are really nothing more than pencils with erasers:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09... [nytimes.com]

    In reality these are human nature stories, not technology stories. There is nothing new here, just the combination of things that have already been invented. I want to hear about innovation and invention, not pencil erasers. This is a technology site and should be better than this.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Looking at your submissions over the past couple of years I don't see any about innovation and invention. Just you complaining about things.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of course, they would have sent in the DEPUTY instead of the robot to disarm the suspect. Wouldn't want to risk anyone with seniority...

  • Why didn't they blow him up like that other guy?
  • by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Sunday September 18, 2016 @08:24AM (#52911441)

    Fortunately for the suspect, arming a robot isn't a criminal offence or they'd probably charge him for it.

  • by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @08:59AM (#52911565)

    We got a robot that is stealing stuff, we are finally making progress on creating bending units and robot personalities.

    • In case you haven't noticed, robot here stands for a remote controlled vehicle equipped with some remotely controlled gizmos. This isn't an autonomous robot programmed with a mission and making decisions on how to accomplish it.
    • Why not Zoidberg?

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @09:13AM (#52911627)
    It also took his clothes, his boots and his motorcycle.
  • You'll get my gun when your robot takes it from me.

  • Where's Waldo? Everywhere.
    Where's the robot? Still trying to climb stairs.

    When robots finally do arrive we won't realize that it happened, because the word 'robot' will have been applied to every device out there to which no human is presently attached, but yet is attached through the miracle of radio.

    PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN squinting into a video display with a joystick in his hand... THIS... IS... A... ROBOT!

  • by GrahamJ ( 241784 )
    At least the robot wasn't carrying a bomb this time.
  • What ever happened to the second amendment! This is just the cops over-reaching and infringing on my constitutional rights again!

    • Damn, right! And prisons infringe on my right to assemble! [/snark]

      Oh please. I'm likely one of the biggest proponents of the Second Amendment you'll ever hear from and yet I recognize the need for police to disarm those intent on harming others. It's kind of the point of the Second Amendment, isn't it? To be able to stop the other guy before they stop you? Doing so without killing them is always preferred but not always possible.

      Or, more succinctly, the US Constitution is not a suicide pact.

      Also, I fi

  • I'm guessing he started shooting because his construction work wasn't killing enough people [ripoffreport.com].

  • ...you have 20 seconds to comply."

  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @01:40PM (#52912735)

    Does this get the Robocop joke? Terminator? Jonny 5? Robot overlord?

    Wait....Go-Go Gadget Extendo.......no. Forget it. I'm not funny.

  • "The robot was a game changer here," said Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Sheriff's Department -- the largest sheriff's department in the nation. "We didn't have to risk a deputy's life to disarm a very violent man."

    More importantly, nobody had to die. They were able to diffuse the situation without filling the guy with bullets, he gets his day in court, and there's no police scandal surrounding his death. This is a win; now, if every other PD would follow suit and use some of their "urban tank" budget on these instead.

    • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

      Don't be so sure. Assholes will still argue BS. The robot is racist, or the guy running it is racist, or they have the wrong guy somehow... anything to put BS out there. Anything to try to get away with committing criminal acts.

      • Don't be so sure of what? That nobody had to die? Well, the robot went in and disarmed the suspect. Nobody died and the situation was diffused. The situation ended, no shots were fired, and nobody died. I'm absolutely sure nobody had to die to diffuse and end that situation.

        Regardless of any claims of racism, or that they got the wrong guy, that may or may not arise, the situation was diffused with nobody having to die. Whether or not a scandal arises from the use of the robot, no scandal will arise from
        • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

          Let me be very blunt - sometimes when someone dies, it's not a bad thing. I know this concept is hard, sometimes very foreign to people.

          • Oh, no, I fully get that. That's why some of the better states in the union have the death penalty. It's still up to the courts system to dole out that punishment, though; not the police.
            • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

              And back to what I was saying originally. I'm afraid they'll use (be required to use) this instead of taking more decisive action, such as killing the guy while the rest of us are put at risk.

              It's really simple and some activist have come to understand this after some police departments have taken then through some training - if they're compliant, no problem. Act like a dumbass, suffer dumbass consequences. I'm kind of for making sure dumbasses suffer dumbass consequences instead of sticking it to the rest

              • I don't know what your experience is, but every cop I know (that's more than a handful, from local deputies all the way up to federal agents) would much rather peacefully diffuse every situation if possible. They hate paperwork and the paperwork involved in dutiful discharge of a weapon is bad enough; the paperwork involved in shooting a suspect is hell for them.

                Are there situations where this robot would not be ideal? Of course there are, quite a number of them; in fact, they're likely the majority. That
  • Dead or alive, you're coming with me!

  • Sure beats all to hell those cowardly idiots that strapped a bomb to a robot and blew up an armed suspect.
  • Shotguns generally don't have rifled barrels, thus this was not a rifle.
  • Since the government is also monitoring our emails, maybe we could send robots out to help people write their emails? Help them know what is okay and what isn't, etc.

    And since DHS wants to control all the voting machines, maybe we can send the robots to help that get going and stop people from voting for opposition candidates.

    And since the IRS is charging taxes based on political views, maybe we could send robots out to vote on behalf of other people or take the guns away from people who don't have th

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