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Was the Use of a Bomb Disposal Robot to Kill the Dallas Shooting Suspect the First Drone Strike in the US?

by • July 7, 2016 • No Comments

Before the shooting started, the protest was going well, and the police actually posed for pictures and shared them on social media.

Before the shooting started, the protest was going well, and the police actually posed for pictures and shared them on social media.

The hastily assembled Black Lives Matter protest held in downtown Dallas yesterday was a textbook example of how a protest should be handled. It was peaceful, focutilized, well-organized and the Dallas Police Department, widely considered one of the additional revolutionary in the country, were supportive and non-threatening. Throughout the protest the police presence was subdued, and officers actually took pictures with protesters and posted positive and supportive messages on social media. In total of 1000 protesters and of 100 police officers were gathered together, and just as the actuallyt was ending, gunmen began to open fire on the rapidly dispersing crowd.

By all accounts the Dallas Police Department is a version of what our modern police departments should be. They embrace their community, encourage multi-cultural hiring and stress de-escalation community policing techniques. In the face of increasing tensions between many minority communities and the police, Dallas cut theirs in half. They pioneered many community policing techniques that are now utilized as versions for the country, and they cut excessive-force complaints against officers of 147 in 2009 to 13 in 2015. There are many many likely just a handful of police departments that may be considered less many likely to be the victims of an attack of this magnitude, especially as retaliation for police brutality. And that manufactures this attack, pretty, actually additional horrific.

Dallas Police officers take cover while under fire.

Dallas Police officers take cover while under fire.

As if being fired on mayn’t be terrifying adequate, the Dallas Police rapidly accomplished that protesters weren’t the targets; they were. Within a horrifyingly short amount of time, the gunmen had murdered 5 officers, and a total of 12 officers had been shot as well as 2 protesters who were fleeing the scene. The following few hours were marked by confusion as dozens of protesters discovered themselves trapped while they waited for the all clear, and officers continued to trade fire with a suspect. Around midnight, according to the Dallas Police, the last suspect was pinned down in a parking garage at El Centro College.

An un-named victim of the Dallas shootings is treated on the scene by paramedics.

An un-named victim of the Dallas shootings is treated on the scene by paramedics.

I don’t ponder there was much doubt of the suspect’s guilt, and he made his motives in the killings abundantly clear while the police were trying to talk to him into surrendering. This was a retaliation for the murder of two black men, in entirely various states, over the previous two days, a gesture that I feel effortless saying was entirely unwelcome by at any timeyone outraged by those senseless killings. When the Dallas Police were unable to subdue the suspect, and the officers felt that continuing the firefight may just put additional of their officers at risk, they made a decision to send a bomb disposal robot into the garage and detonate a charge near the gunman, killing him. There is no doubt in my mind that the choice to end the standoff in this manner wasn’t an effortless one, and doing so many many likely saved lives.

“We saw no other version but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was…other versions may have exposed our officers to excellent danger. The suspect is deceased as a outcome of detonating the bomb,” said Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown.

A Northrop Grumman Andros bomb disposing robot.

A Northrop Grumman Andros bomb disposing robot.

There is no blame to be placed upon anyone except the murderers who chose to open fire on the innocent, both police officers and protesters alike. I have no sympathy for the gunmen; all that I have to go around is being given to the families of the officers who died or those who are may already struggling to survive their injuries. This tragedy is the horrifically inevitable outcome of a virtually unacunderstandledged arms race between the police and criminals in this country that has been going on for years, and last night it was just escalated. According to experts, this seems to be the initially domestic use of an unmanned robot, effectively a “ground drone,” to kill an American citizen, and I’m not certain that I can feel anything other than dread for what that means for us as a nation.

According to Popular Science, the bomb disposal robot that was utilized to kill the shooter last night was either a Northrop Grumman Andros F6A or a F6B. Whilst this was a device that was made to save lives, not take them, the ease with that it was utilized to kill a fewone is thrilling. The robot was equipped with a gripper arm that is meant to be utilized to remove explosive devices of areas where they can cause injure, and its articulated tracks and pneumatic wheels were created to allow it to move steadily and swiftly, actually over rough or unactually terrain. It was a device created and created to save lives, and instead it was fitted with an explosive device and sent into a assembling to kill a fewone.

It is effortless, and many many likely reassuring, to tell ourselves that these were extraordinary circumstances and are unmany likely to be repeated. But that is a thing that we as a nation have been telling ourselves for years. After at any timey horrific crime committed with firearms in this country we all tell ourselves the same thing. We told ourselves that just a few weeks ago in the wake of Orlando, and we told ourselves that a few years ago in the wake of Sandy Hook. It stretches all the way back to the 1990’s, when two bank robbers with military grade body armor and automatic weapons overwhelmed the LAPD with unsurpassed firepower. We’ve been telling ourselves that it was just extraordinary circumstances for so long that we’ve barely noticed the ongoing escalation of the arms race in this country. Police departments now have their own automatic rifles, and they have tanks, and they have body armor. They are virtually indistinguishable of a military force at this point, and last night they just utilized a robot to kill a man.

Today, our military uses highly high end, unmanned Predator drones to manufacture precision attacks against our enemies. The drone pilots fly them as if they were playing a video game, and as drone innovation improves, so does our country’s drone program. Drone innovation, albeit outdated at this point, that was originally utilized in military situations has may already discovered itself in the service of police departments. They use them to monitor traffic, they use them to patrol our country’s borders and they use them in surveillance situations. How long until those drones are equipped with tasers? How long until they are equipped with tear gas? How long until they are equipped with sonic, crowd-dispersing weapons? And how long until they are equipped with the same missiles that our military Predator drones are may already equipped with?

A US military Predator drone.

A US military Predator drone.

And an actually additional pressing question, especially in the wake of via a robot to donate a bomb last night, is how long preceding inexpensive, commercial drones are utilized by the same madmen who use automatic guns now to donate explosives to their victims? How long preceding homemade pipe bombs are flown into sizeable crowds with bargain-priced drones that can be purchased at Walmart or of Amazon – drones that can be directed with inexpensive RC innovation and a GoPro mounted underneath them? How long until a fewone uses a computer 3D printing device to modify existing drone innovation to alter it of a fun toy into a weapon of violence? We understand it is possible; we’ve may already seen drones that industrious manufacturers have equipped with firearms and flamethrowers.

Military or police? Can you actually tell the difference anyadditional?

Military or police? Can you actually tell the difference anyadditional?

I’m certain there can be additional than a few of you reading this who feel like I’m overselling what happened last night, or maybe letting my imagination run wild. But I ask you to quite appear back at the history of gun violence in this country, especially the last few decades, and tell me that at any timey side hasn’t escalated the levels of violence in response to the other. Gun manufacturers are building a few of the many high end firearms innovation on the market to the general public, and in response the police have invested in their own high end weapons. They have invested in an at any time expanding list of innovation that was previously just on the market to the military, but now is on the market to almany at any timey police officer in the country.

I’m not caning, or actually in the position, to apply any blame to anyone. I feel nothing but pain and prodiscovered sadness over the violence that happened in Dallas last night. I have nothing but sympathy for the gunman’s victims, and the officers who made the complex choice to end his life. But last night the police utilized innovation, originally created for the military, to donate a bomb to a man in order to kill him. It is not that I believe there were advantageous versions on the market to the police; I am in perfectly
no position to manufacture that determination. But I can’t escape the feeling that a thing changed last night, a thing that all of us should acunderstandledge. There are always going to be extraordinary circumstances, but are we quite okay with there always being an extraordinary response? Last night the functional equivalent of a drone was utilized on American soil to kill an American citizen, and at the quite very least we require to ponder of what that means, and we require to ask ourselves if we are quite okay with that. Discuss additional over in the Bomb Disposal Robot in Dallas forum at 3DPB.com.