As military-grade robotics get cheaper and more capable, someone will arm them and put them on American streets.
Patrick Tucker reports: Robot-maker Sean Bielat says he’s fine with the Dallas Police Department’s apparently unprecedented use of a police bomb-disposal robot to kill a gunman on Thursday. “A robot was used to keep people out of harm’s way in an extreme situation,” said Bielat, the CEO of Endeavor Robotics, a spinoff of iRobot’s military division. “That’s how robots are intended to be used.”
“The chief had two options and he went with this one. I supported him completely because it was the safest way to approach it”
Joergen Pedersen, the CEO of RE2 robotics and the chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association’s robotics division concurred. “If these robots are used in manners for which they were unintended, we would expect that the officers who are there to keep citizens and themselves safe would use good judgment where the application of lethal force is a last resort,” he said.
On Sunday, speaking to Face the Nation, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings blessed the operation. “The chief had two options and he went with this one. I supported him completely because it was the safest way to approach it,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
On Friday morning, the kids woke up to the news that their father was dead.
Medical staff couldn’t save Ahrens from the bullets that tore into his liver, said Karen Buckingham, his mother-in-law.
“It’s just beyond belief,” Buckingham said.
Ahrens had been with the Dallas Police Department since January 2002, according to department records.
“He was always one of the happy ones, with a smile on his face,” said one of his fellow officers who saw him around the department’s Central station often.
Steve Stribley, a state Fraternal Order of Police vice president and Dallas patrol officer, said Ahrens was “an incredible loving and devoted husband and father. Greatly respected veteran of the department.”
The 48-year-old officer was married to Detective Katrina Ahrens from the Crimes Against Persons division. The couple lived in Burleson with their two children together: 10-year-old Sorcha and 8-year-old Magnus. Read the rest of this entry »
The police chief said that shootings appeared to be coordinated and planned, as the moves displayed a knowledge of the rally’s intended path through the city and an attempt to ‘triangulate’ police.
One of the suspected Dallas shooters has been “neutralized, NBC affiliate KXAS reports, after the suspect threatened the “end is coming” for police officers.
Meanwhile, a fifth police officer has died of their injuries, the Dallas Police Department said.
“The suspect we’re negotiating with … has told our negotiators that the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement, and that there are bombs all over the place and downtown, so we’re being very careful with our tactics, so we don’t put our officers in harm’s way, or the citizens.”
— Dallas Police Chief David Brown
Eleven officers were shot by two snipers, who opened fire from elevated positions in a coordinated attack after a rally in Dallas, Texas. The rally was being held to protest the deaths of two black men this week at the hands of police.
At the press conference held close to 2 a.m. ET, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said a suspect, who was holed up in a second-floor garage in the city’s downtown area, was exchanging gunfire with police and “not being very cooperative.”
“The suspect we’re negotiating with … has told our negotiators that the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement, and that there are bombs all over the place and downtown, so we’re being very careful with our tactics, so we don’t put our officers in harm’s way, or the citizens,” Brown said. KXAS reported later that the threat had been “neutralized”.
He said a woman had been taken into custody after she was observed by police carrying a camouflaged bag, which she put into a car that then sped off. The vehicle was stopped by police and they were currently questioning two occupants, Brown said.
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Brown told the press conference, however that he did not have a “complete comfort level that we have all the suspects,” and that a rigorous search of the downtown area was continuing.
The police chief said that shootings appeared to be coordinated and planned, as the moves displayed a knowledge of the rally’s intended path through the city and an attempt to “triangulate” police. Read the rest of this entry »
DALLAS (AP) — Police: Suspect in Dallas police headquarters shooting is confirmed dead.
Gunman opened fire on Dallas Police Department and rammed a police car before fleeing
Police couldn’t confirm whether the suspect, who was in an armored van that he claimed had explosives inside, was alive. Police hadn’t yet confirmed the man’s identity.
Snipers shot at the van’s front window and struck the suspect, Mr. Brown said. Police were using a robot to determine whether explosives remain near the vehicle.
#dallaspdshooting I hate white people and I am white
— kys joy (@lrhgroupies) June 13, 2015
Pathetic tweet of the day
Police had chased the suspect to a parking lot at a Jack in the Box restaurant south of Dallas after he fired on officers at the Dallas police headquarters early Saturday. No officers were injured in the shootings. Read the rest of this entry »
DALLAS (AP) — Nomann Merchant reports: At least one gunman opened fire on officers outside of police headquarters in Dallas early Saturday, spraying squad cars with bullets before fleeing in a van, which officers followed to a suburban parking lot and surrounded, beginning a standoff, the police chief said.
Witnesses described seeing as many as three other suspects taking part in the attack, but police Chief David Brown said at a news conference that conflicting accounts made it difficult to determine how many people may have been involved. Despite a hail of gunshots, including some that hit police vehicles, nobody was wounded, he said.
According to Brown, the shootout began at around 12:30 a.m., when the suspect or suspects parked in front of the department’s headquarters south of downtown and began firing. At least one assailant later drove off in a dark-colored van, which witnesses described as armored, but not before ramming a police cruiser. The moment was caught on cellphone video shot from a nearby balcony in which several shots can be heard.
Officers trailed the van to a Jack in the Box parking lot in Hutchins, a Dallas suburb, where a SWAT team had it surrounded, Brown said. They had been speaking to a man inside who identified himself as James Boulware and who said he blames police for losing custody of his son and “accusing him of being a terrorist.”
The gunman also said he had explosives in the van, which appeared to be outfitted with gun ports in the sides. Read the rest of this entry »