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It Begins: Police Are Now Actively Using Robot Dogs

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Civil Liberties group warns machines could be weaponized

Massachusetts State Police have become the first law enforcement agency in the US to use robotic dogs, in a first that has critics warning that the machines could be weaponized in the future.

WBUR News reports that the metal dogs, made by Boston Dynamics, have been leased to the police and used on multiple occasions in active law enforcement incidents since August.

The robots, named ‘SPOT’, have been used as ‘mobile remote observation devices’ according to records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Details on their use are scant, but the documents suggest that the dogs were used to provide troopers with images of suspicious devices or reveal where suspects were hiding.

Video of MA State Police testing the dogs shows one of the robots opening a door, mirroring footage released previously by Boston Dynamics.

“Robot technology is a valuable tool for law enforcement because of its ability to provide situational awareness of potentially dangerous environments,” state police spokesman David Procopio told reporters.

Boston Dynamics vice president for business development Michael Perry confirmed that the machines were leased to law enforcement, with the provisio that the robot not be used in a way that would “physically harm or intimidate people.”

“Part of our early evaluation process with customers is making sure that we’re on the same page for the usage of the robot,” he said, adding “So upfront, we’re very clear with our customers that we don’t want the robot being used in a way that can physically harm somebody.”

The company routinely releases slick videos of the machines in action:

The AI on the dogs is open, so it can be customized, and the machines can be fitted with weapons. Along with the lease to law enforcement, that is enough for Kade Crockford, director of the technology for liberty program at the ACLU of Massachusetts to issue a warning.

“We just really don’t know enough about how the state police are using this,” Crockford said. “And the technology that can be used in concert with a robotic system like this is almost limitless in terms of what kinds of surveillance and potentially even weaponization operations may be allowed.”

“We really need some law and some regulation to establish a floor of protection to ensure that these systems can’t be misused or abused in the government’s hands,” Crockford said, adding “And no, a terms of service agreement is just insufficient.”

The robot dogs inspired an infamous episode of Black Mirror in 2017, where machines very similar looking to the SPOT, but more advanced, were depicted hunting down and killing people after the unexplained collapse of human society.

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Major London Department Store Gives Up on Calling Police to Catch Shoplifters

Presumably they were busy doing the Macarena at the gay pride parade.

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Claire Doherty via Getty Images

London department store Fortnum and Mason has given up on calling police to catch shoplifters and is instead using its own private detectives to apprehend thieves.

The upmarket brand has “lost faith in the police” in response to rising levels of shoplifting, partly driven by the cost of living crisis.

Responding to Fortnum and Mason’s decision to use its own security to catch thieves, the Metropolitan Police said businesses were “entitled to employ security companies to provide additional safety for themselves or their premises.”

“Home Office figures published in April revealed that shoplifting prosecutions had fallen to an all-time low,” reports the Telegraph. “Just one in six (16.8 per cent) shoplifting offences reported to police resulted in a charge, nearly half the rate of 30.8 per cent five years previously.”

Between 200,000 and 300,000 shoplifting offences go unpunished every year, while untold thousands more are never even reported.

Citing a lack of resources, police departments across the UK have stopped responding to or investigating some crimes, with their officers presumably being more interested in performing dance routines at gay pride parades.

Car theft in London has effectively been decriminalized, with just 277 out of 55,000 offences being solved by Scotland Yard, a 0.5% success rate.

Back in 2015, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said that due to a lack of resources, officers would be unable to attend some burglaries. In 2018, it was revealed that two thirds of burglaries are not even investigated.

Despite many crimes going unsolved, there are still plenty of resources available to prosecute people for saying offensive things or making edgy social media posts.

Back in June, a man was jailed for 20 weeks for the ‘crime’ of posting offensive George Floyd memes in private WhatsApp and Facebook group chats.

In 2017, it was reported that British police had arrested 3,395 people for ‘offensive online comments’ in the space of a year.

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He Didn’t Expect This

Leftist influencer gets a shock.

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A Swedish influencer visited a crime-ridden migrant suburb to prove that the area was safe, and ended up getting robbed on the street.

Please share this video! https://youtu.be/piUmlNiFYLg

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“Crisis Of Crimes”: New Orleans Becomes Murder Capital Of America

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Progressives in top city leadership positions have helped transform New Orleans into the murder capital of America. 

WSJ reported the Louisiana city on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico, recorded the highest homicide rate of any major city so far this year, with 41 homicides per 100,000 residents. 

Metropolitan Crime Commission Inc., a nonprofit that works on crime-reducing strategies in the city, said the homicide rate is up 141% compared with the same period in 2019. It pointed out carjackings are up 210%, shootings 100%, and armed robberies up 25%.

“The homicide rate is on pace to surpass last year’s rate, which was the worst since Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” WSJ noted. 

The city’s alarming spike in the homicide rate comes at the same time as “progressive prosecutor” Jason Williams became the district attorney of the metro area in early 2021. He promised a “more selective” approach to prosecutions that goes “beyond punishment.”

“Being more selective about prosecutions will allow us to focus on the crimes that matter most to all of us,” Williams said last year, adding, “We’ve got to go beyond punishment and invest in our community.”

Metropolitan Crime Commission recently said Williams’ criminal justice reforms have resulted in a “drastic decline in accountability for violent felony offenders.”

Residents told WSJ an “overwhelmed” police department is a significant factor in the rise in violent crime. 

Ronal Serpas, the city’s police superintendent from 2010-14, said the city has about 50% to 60% of officers needed for adequate patrols. 

“We’re in a crisis of crime and a crisis of confidence in this city,” Serpas said.

Democratic Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned last month Mardi Gras festivities early next year could be canceled because of the police shortage. Local news Times-Picayune said the police department budgets for 1,500 offices, but its force just fell below 1,000 — the lowest level in decades. 

“If we don’t have adequate police, it could mean that there will be no Mardi Gras. That’s a fact,” Cantrell said at a community meeting last month. 

Violent crime has surged in many liberal-controlled cities, as some believe this is due to failed criminal justice reform policies.

Democrat’s inability to address the crime wave is a failure in policy — and their lack of accountability will come in the form of no confidence by taxpayers. 

Remember in June when a George Soros-backed progressive district attorney in San Francisco was booted out of office? 

“Action must be taken NOW if there is ever a chance to save the city and bring the reputation of being a city where tourists can come to party and celebrate and not become victims,” nonprofit New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, which raises funds to aid police in the city, warned. 

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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