back to article Police robot duo storm Colorado house, end four-day siege

A pair of police robots are being hailed as heroes in Colorado, after they stormed a house in which a possibly drug-addled, armed man had barricaded himself. Officers seem likely to be enjoying celebratory doughnuts and battery charging back at the station after a four-day siege ended in the town of Greeley, Colorado, on …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. ratfox Silver badge

    Dad (Myron Powell) is not going to be too happy when he sees what we had to do tonight, but you can replace windows and doors; you can’t replace people

    Amen. That's a lot better than the policemen who were called because a man was suicidal, went in with assault rifles, and upon finding him with a knife in his hands, took the perfectly logical step of gunning him down:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/28/man-calls-suicide-line-police-kill-him.html

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Unhappy

      ..[the police] shot him because ‘That’s what we do.’

      Says it all, really, doesn't it?

    2. VinceH
      Unhappy

      Yeah, but they only did it for his own protection. They were saving him from himself.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ratfox

      I was surprised at the comment, as everyone knows, of course people can be replaced.

      Didn't they take biology at school.

      Even my boss knew that when he told me that no-one is irreplaceable - just after I had asked for a raise.

  3. dan1980

    Thirty police? Four days? SWAT?

    What the hell?

    Now, I'll readily concede that I am not in law enforcement and can't speak for those who are but unless I am mistaken, this wasn't even a hostage situation - he was alone and not actively threatening anyone. They wanted to arrest him, yes, but apart from that?

    This kind of thing is indicative of policing gone too far. There is an ever increasing trend to assign more powers (and more deadly equipment) to police and politicians seem to nearly unanimously and unceasingly support the police or at least are very reluctant to denounce any actions or demand any penalties for any officer who has acted questionably.

    If it takes four days and 30 officers to resolve this situation then it's clear that the police are not up to the task they have been entrusted with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd agree that the man count seems excessive, but seeking to solve this without just shooting the guy is IMHO good news.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        I'd agree that the man count seems excessive, but seeking to solve this without just shooting the guy..

        But they did shot him - In the leg!

        (The article doesn't say what with)

        1. Michael Strorm

          "But they did shot him - In the leg!"

          I thought they'd sorted out that problem with the ED-209...?

        2. Trigonoceps occipitalis
          Stop

          Something "less lethal", as in it is 1,000,000:1 that you will die. I think he was very lucky.

          1. dan1980

            Well, he was shot in the leg so even a 'real' bullet wouldn't have killed him. So, it seems more like it was used for compliance - the way stun guns are so frequently used. Which brings me back to my point about the SWAT team evidently being useless - what good is all your advanced training and sit-ups and body armour if you can't subdue an unarmed man without using your weapons?

      2. dan1980

        @AC

        Right, but, as the poster above points out - they did shoot him! 30 police, two robotic cameras and a SWAT team and they still couldn't apprehend an unarmed man (in a house by himself, with no hostages) without firing their weapons.

        Great, it was 'less lethal' shot, so presumably a hacky-sack type affair but that doesn't make it any better because it shows that they (the police/SWAT team) clearly weren't in serious danger as they would have really shot the guy otherwise so it was unnecessary.

        If it is KNOWN that a person is unarmed and KNOWN that he has no hostages then if a SWAT team cannot apprehend him without firing their weapons (regardless of the munition used) then what the hell are they for? They are supposed to be highly-trained personnel.

        Either way it's bad - if SWAT are supposed to be able to resolve situations like this then they failed; if they aren't trained to apprehend UNARMED subjects without shooting them then they shouldn't be there.

        Remember that the tech angle of the story (and thus why it is of relevance here) is that robotic things were used to unambiguously ascertain what the situation was so there is no excuse.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          "SWAT team... what the hell are they for?

          They run around shouting "HUT! HUT! HUT!"

          The bullet-proof one with the dark glasses in the pocket ------------->

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    We had to destroy the house in order to save it.

    More pepperoni, Sarge?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We had to destroy the house in order to save it.

      As was pointed out elsewhere, this isn't the first time this has happened.

      I'm not American, but I'd find it hard to argue with those who've claimed incidents like this are a blatant indication of the fact that their police have become ludicrously (and counter-productively) militarised.

      Combined with the fact that when expensive technology is bought it *will* always tend to be used whether or not it's a good idea- particularly if it's a good excuse to have some fun with the "boys toys"- it's no surprise that the police are going to enjoy playing soldiers unless such behaviour is explicitly discouraged.

  5. Gomez Adams

    Can El Reg avoid calling remote controlled devices robots please?

  6. Boo Radley

    What we HAD to do?

    Destroy an innocent person's home? Is this covered by homeowners insurance?

    1. madick

      Re: What we HAD to do?

      " Is this covered by homeowners insurance?"

      I don't know about homeowners insurance in the USA, but in the UK, cover would probably depend upon whether or not Jacob Powell had been given a key to his parents' house..

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    Indeed. 1 man +1 weapon +*no* hostages = 4 days x 30 officers + 1 house destroyed.

    Yes I think a WTF is warranted.

    Several explanations for why they should decide to emulate the exploits of "Key Stone" division.

    None of them good.

    1. TrishaD

      Re: Indeed. 1 man +1 weapon +*no* hostages = 4 days x 30 officers + 1 house destroyed.

      I mean... what IS this? Police Academy 92 or something?

  8. hplasm Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Why did they want to re-arrest him?

    Beacuse nobody was home to look after him???

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Why did they want to re-arrest him?

      That's what I came here to ask too. After all, he was only 30 and his parents, thinking he was in jail, decided to go off on holiday thus hilariously leaving him Home Alonetm where all sorts of comedic and thrilling incidents happened to him.

  9. emmanuel goldstein

    sounds like the sub-plot of a "Simpsons" episode.

    1. Afernie

      Yep, once they clear the backlog of 4-day long non-hostage situations, I expect they'll be called upon to deal with the notorious 'Knifey Wifey' of 123, Fake Street.

  10. Arachnoid

    Sounds very much like the Police going after a record of how much damage they can do getting one perp

    see the damage on this one

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/front-range/greenwood-village/owner-of-greenwood-village-house-blown-apart-by-swat-says-this-is-an-abomination-this-is-an-atrocity

  11. Adrian Midgley 1

    It isn't clear what

    they wanted to grab him for.

    Did they say?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It isn't clear what

      In Soviet Amerika, police not need reason

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    American "hero"

    Think our western cousins (or El Reg) are a bit liberal when using the description of a hero.

    In the UK a hero is defined as someone who puts aside thier own fears and selflessly puts themselves at risk for the benefit of someone else.

    A robot can't be a hero because it has no sense of self to protect, nor does it make any decisions. It has no life to loose.

    If I lob an inanimate carbon rod through a window the rod would be a hero? All hail the rod!

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Not enough info here...

    No real judgement call can made in my opinion. The time frame is excessive and so does the damage.

    The shot to the leg... bean bag? Why? Resisting arrest? Accidental discharge?

    Was there a racial aspect as that's been creating a lot of tension lately.. everyone afraid to do the wrong thing?

    Why the storming after everything else failed? Did anyone knock on the door?

    There's too much unkown or not being said here.....

    Yeah... cops in America seem to have a reputation for over-reacting. But then, it's the bad ones that get the press and not the good ones.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And society...

    ...will be paying for this derelict for the next 25 years if he doesn't OD first.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And society... Land of the free

      The greatest shame is the willingness to spend obscene amounts to apprehend and jail this man but you'll get mass protests and complaints if any money is spent trying to rehabilitate him.

      It's a massive waste of a person's life, of tax-payers money and a loss of future tax revenue from a functional citizen.

      .

      America has the world's largest prison population, which at $1.52/hr is also a cheap workforce:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate

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