back to article Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

Police in Dallas, Texas, used a bomb-carrying robot to blow up a cornered sniper who earlier shot 12 officers during a protest. The suspected gunman was holed up in a building not far from where the shootings took place, we're told. Negotiators tried to persuade the ex-US Army reservist to surrender – but the talks broke down …

  1. YetAnotherLocksmith

    It makes sense, but...

    Well, it makes sense to not risk another few officers, but then, just like the guns, every civilian will demand their 2A right to a killer assault robot, & then it's going to get even messier...

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @YetAnotherLocksmith ... Re: It makes sense, but...

      Really?

      C'mon, that's not even funny.

      It makes sense because the shooter had already shot and killed several traffic officers and refused to surrender. He was a continued threat so that's the only way to get to him.

      BTW, you can blame Holder and Obama for creating this mess... but you have to understand how Holder and company got involved starting with the Zimmerman/Martin shooting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

        I agree, Obama incites this kind of violence regularly, and his flying monkey Holder did the same every chance he got. They both have lots of blood on their hands, mostly from blacks getting killed by other blacks at an alarmingly increased rate this year, due to the police holding back on enforcement.

        They wanted a race war and here it is.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          "They wanted a race war and here it is."

          unfortunate, but most likely true. Obaka's roots are in "agitation" of unhappy citizens. The 'civil rights coalition' becomes EMPOWERED when there is racial strife.

          If people stopped caring or making a big deal about race, pointing it out whenever possible, making it an excuse or reason or motivation for 'whatever', there would be no racism. But then "they" wouldn't be powerful, important, or perceived as "needed" any more...

          so there you have it.

          (expecting lots of thumb-downs, just like the other two).

          Oh, and gotta LOVE the geek factor of hacking the bomb DISPOSAL robot's usage to dispose of a cop-killing perp!

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            @bombastic bob

            RE: "If people stopped caring or making a big deal about race...there would be no racism"

            No shit Sherlock.

            I fink you mite be on to sumfink here. Keep goin', yu mite solve it and wunt the wurld be nice then. Ya kno, I fout of summat else too - If peepl stopped hatin gays ther wunt be no omofobia either.

            I like yor finking bobby

          2. richmlinpdx

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            >If people stopped caring or making a big deal about race, pointing it out whenever possible, making it an >excuse or reason or motivation for 'whatever', there would be no racism. But then "they" wouldn't be >powerful, important, or perceived as "needed" any more...

            The most racist thing I've read on this thread to far. Yes, I am a white person.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

        BTW, you can blame Holder and Obama for creating this mess

        I surely can - he continued the program where police departments are armed with military weapons and given military training including the part which treats anyone and everyone as the enemy without any rules of engagement to counterbalance it. Sure, Shrub instituted that mess, but Obama continued it and expanded it too.

        As a result police shoots first, asks questions later, especially in black and poor neighbourhoods. From there on, not expecting someone to snap and return fire is a bid disingenuous. In fact I am surprised that there are so few incidents of that considering the amount of firearms in the general USA populace. If this was somewhere in Eastern Europe, there would have been a civil war situation by now. That is by the way a good example of a region where the populace is armed to the teeth (anyone not believing me is welcome to visit a residential neighbourhood in Sofia, Buchuresti or Belgrade on New Year's Eve - the tracer bullets from Ak47 are quite spectacular). The police however is not anywhere as trigger happy (and for a reason too).

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: AC Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          ".....As a result police shoots first, asks questions later, especially in black and poor neighbourhoods. From there on, not expecting someone to snap and return fire is a bid disingenuous....." Bullshit. The biggest killer of black male youths in the US is another black male youth, has been for years. Over the same weekend that Philando Castile was shot, there were 65 people shot (10 fatally) in Chicago alone, predominantly in poor and black neighbourhoods. Of the deaths, so far as I can discern from news reports, all were the result of black-on-black gang violence. Pretending that the cops are the trigger for violence in such neighbourhoods is simply blinkered and naive.

          If you want to try looking at it from another angle, between 2003 and 2013, FBI figures showed that black criminals killed cops in the US in equal numbers with white criminals, despite being only 12% of the US population compared to about 44% whites. That means that during that period, every time an officer of any colour encountered a black suspect during the course of their duties, there was potentially three times more likelihood that they would be shot by that black suspect than any other ethnic group.

          1. mark 177
            Stop

            Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            Sounds suspiciously like racial profiling + group punishment to me.

          2. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            "If you want to try looking at it from another angle, between 2003 and 2013, FBI figures showed that black criminals killed cops in the US in equal numbers with white criminals, despite being only 12% of the US population compared to about 44% whites. That means that during that period, every time an officer of any colour encountered a black suspect during the course of their duties, there was potentially three times more likelihood that they would be shot by that black suspect than any other ethnic group."

            Erm, no it doesn't. It means that any given black person chosen at random is three times more likely. But police officers in general interact more with blacks than whites (because, ooh, racism maybe?) so you cannot use this statistic, but multiply it by the number of interactions with each race.

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            "The biggest killer of black male youths in the US is another black male youth, has been for years."

            The biggest killer of ANY male youth has always been someone from their own group. The same applies for white male youth, asian male youth or small purple furry alien youths.

            That doesn't excuse that USA police shootings are out of control and that the victims in the are predominantly male youths and of those, black ones figure highly. The entire USA structure is rotten and systemic disenfranchisation of the poor is rampant.

            What doesn't help is that a significant number of police recruits in the USA are sociopaths and another significant number are psychologically unsuited to operation under pressure. These are not being weeded out during training and they're not removed when they show themselves as unsuitable for the job. The police are failing to police themselves _and_ they mostly regard the "protection of their own" as more important than the "protection of the public" regardless of how egrariously evil the conduct of some of their own may be.

            Just like the 1970s, when the London flying squad would struggle to secure a conviction of armed bank robbers even if they caught them in the act of robbing a bank(*), confidence in USA police is at an all-time low. Serious cleaning up is needed and there seems to be no will to get on with it. (The violence and disregard for legalities has been there a long time - see Rodney King. What's new is the ubiquitousness of cameras to record it) Jurisdictions could start with an assumption of malfeasance if bodycams or microphones are disabled or non-functional.

            (*) Not just London. The Greater Manchester Serious Crimes division was found to be responsible for _committing_ most of the serious crimes in greater Manchester....

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

              "What doesn't help is that a significant number of police recruits in the USA are sociopaths and another significant number are psychologically unsuited to operation under pressure. These are not being weeded out during training and they're not removed when they show themselves as unsuitable for the job."

              One question. How do you go about winnowing out the unfit if you don't have money to afford all the psych exams to do it since the public are bitching about taxes as it is (and the heavy weapons and vehicles are being subsidized by the Feds, so they're not paying the full bill for them)? That's always the $64M question as to why things aren't getting done: Where's the money, sonny?

      3. Preston Munchensonton
        Stop

        Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

        It makes sense because the shooter had already shot and killed several traffic officers and refused to surrender. He was a continued threat so that's the only way to get to him.

        Total, utter bullshit. This is exactly the same moronic reasoning that lead Bush 43 and Blair to invade Iraq.

        The state use of force on citizens should never preempt justice without an immediate threat to more lives. This is basically the ATF invading the Branch Davidian compound all over again, with the Dallas Bomb Squad executing a murderer who wouldn't surrender.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          >with the Dallas Bomb Squad executing a murderer who wouldn't surrender.

          You should have volunteered to go in and get him then. Nah lets sacrifice a few more cops so we respect his civil rights.

          >The state use of force on citizens should never preempt justice without an immediate threat to more lives

          The reason they used the bomb disposal robot in the first place is he told the cops he was rigged with a bomb. Also I mean what threat could an military trained active shooter who had already shot 13 cops possibly pose to the public eh?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            You should have volunteered to go in and get him then. Nah lets sacrifice a few more cops so we respect his civil rights.

            Ah yes, civil rights, the non-respecting of which by the police lead to this outburst in the first place. Not that I'm defending his actions, but I'm actually surprised it took this long.

            I think what the commenter is flagging is that the US has gone pretty binary on how it handles threats, which is exactly part of the problem. They really ought to work on more, non-lethal approaches to threat resolution, and while they're at it, they may want to start dealing with the problem. If those who are supposed to protect citizens actually become the threat you're heading towards civil war pretty quickly, and once ignited that's a fire almost impossible to put back out other than with yet again extreme bloodshed.

            But hey, it'll sell guns and bullets, and that's what it's all about, no?

            I'm also a bit puzzled about fighting a bomb threat with a bomb - depending on what it was this explosive could have set off whatever he'd been carrying. It's OK if you know what you're dealing with, but I don't have the impression that was the case here.

            I really don't like the escalation here on both sides. This will only end in tears.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

              I'm also a bit puzzled about fighting a bomb threat with a bomb - depending on what it was this explosive could have set off whatever he'd been carrying. It's OK if you know what you're dealing with, but I don't have the impression that was the case here.

              Isn't this the "controlled explostion" where a small charge is used to vaporise a larger charge before it has a chance to explode?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            > You should have volunteered to go in and get him then. Nah lets sacrifice a few more

            > cops so we respect his civil rights.

            Fscking hypocrite. Or you could send a robot in with tear gas. Or you could sit it out and wait for him to get hungry.

            Instead Dallas PD decided to be Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

            Funny how the numb knuts gun nuts are quick to start foaming at the mouth about "The Constitution" whenever they think you're threatening _their_ civil rights, but then quickly look down and shuffle their feet when other people's civil rights get trampled.

          3. BillG Silver badge
            Meh

            Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

            The reason they used the bomb disposal robot in the first place is he told the cops he was rigged with a bomb.

            Exactly. Now let's all put this in context.

            "He was rigged with a bomb" = "he was wearing a suicide vest". Let's remember that this shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, had already shot and killed police officers and indicated he wanted to kill more. After hours of negotiations where Johnson continued to fire at officers it was clear that he had no intention of surrendering himself. A bomb disposal robot was sent in with a bomb.

            Johnson was told a robot with a bomb was being sent it, he saw the robot with the bomb and was given another opportunity to surrender. He refused. The bomb was then detonated.

            I really can't fault DPD for how they handled this as Johnson had a clear understanding of what was going to happen. In this case it's better and safer for the police to detonate a known device at a time of their choosing (which would not necessarily set off the suicide vest) than wait for the inevitable detonation by Johnson.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

              > I really can't fault DPD for how they handled this

              You can't? Really? I can. It's called the Sixth Amendment: Right to trial by jury.

              Nothing, nothing, no, not one single thing that anyone does, no matter how heinous, revokes their constitutional rights. Including their right to a trial for having committed that crime. Nothing!

              Last week people I know were posting pictures of tombstones on Facebook marking the death of The Rule of Law after Hillary Clinton was essentially absolved of any wrong doing for running an email server. Running a fscking email server. The rule of law is dead? Give me a fricken break.

              I submit that yesterday is the day the Constitution died. If the decision makers in Dallas PD who okayed the murder of a suspect, depriving that person of his Sixth Amendment rights, aren't charged with First Degree murder, then truly the rule of law _is_ dead.

              (And yes, I'm specifically talking about the American Constitution, in America. And I realize that it is not applicable in other countries, and this is an international forum, yada, yada, yada.)

              1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                Re: Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

                Really? You mean it didn't happen when US drones were used to take out a US citizen suspected of helping ISIS. It didn't happen when the DOJ turned a blind eye on guns being walked over the Mexican border during the Fast and Furious operation. It didn't happen when multiple Constitutionally guaranteed rights can be brushed aside with little more than hearsay provided by a third party with no due process that is the no-fly / terrorist watch lists bullshit since you can't really even find out your on it until you discover that your rights have been removed. Oh, there's plenty more examples but I'd rather not write a novel listing them all.

                No, today's your day but for some of us who've been paying attention, it happened a while ago.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

                For the rule of law to work both parties have to agree to follow the rule of law. It seems apparent that the shooter did not care about the rule of law (at least to me).

              3. Shovel

                Re: Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

                It's clear this was not a "Suspect". Shooter convicted himself. He forfeited his civil rights when he murdered civil servants performing their duties, repeatedly and with continuance of purpose.

                Should you wait while a rapist brutalizes your loved ones, or are you going to take action if resources are available to you? Are you going to let your family suffer while you concern yourself with Assailant's right? Are you going to risk letting your loved ones die so a violent criminal can have his rights read to him after he's done?

              4. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

                "Nothing, nothing, no, not one single thing that anyone does, no matter how heinous, revokes their constitutional rights."

                NO right known to man is absolute. Don't believe me? Read US v. Schenck and the concept of falsely shouting FIRE in a crowded theater. In this case, your rights end where another's begin. And taking several officers' inaliable right to life pretty much means you've crossed the Point of No Return.

        2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          If the Dallas PD had him contained they could settle in and wait him out. There was no indication of any hostages, so taking up positions to cover escape routes and waiting is viable. He will either try charging his way out, shoot himself, or surrender.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            >try charging his way out, shoot himself, or surrender

            Or take pot shots at the cops or bystanders where return fire might be dangerous to civilians (bullets can travel up to miles depending on gun and angle). You shoot 12 cops in the US you can reasonably expect to never see a judge. As for that bullcrap in Iraq nothing guarantees war like electing a Texan. Its a good thing Cruz and Perry are friggin halfwits.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

              Also worth noting he was wearing body armor as well. Google the mayhem that only two bank robbers with high quality body armor in California caused some years ago.

              1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

                Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                Common body armor is not capable of stopping a .30-06 (think M1 Garand or SMLE with 303) or more powerful rifle round. Also at the ranges one is likely talking about (< 100 meters) a competent sniper should be able to hit any exposed body part or the weapon itself. It has been done before.

                The Dallas PD had other options to flush him out they could have used but did not.

                1. Blank Reg

                  Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                  @a_yank_lurker

                  You're assuming they could find a suitable position from which a sniper could take a good shot. In the time it would take for them to work out which building can give them the required line of site how many more people could have died?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

              Clearly the shooter was confined to an area with no alternative escape routes. Flooding it with a tear gas or a fast-acting anesthetic (perhaps using the same robot which was deployed for the execution) would have been a safe and effective way to take him down. Even if he did have a gas mask, these only protect you for a limited time, especially at high concentrations of the active agent.

              Putting a douchebag on trial is always preferable to potentially creating a martir through an extra-judicial execution.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                >Flooding it with a tear gas or a fast-acting anesthetic

                Didn't the Russians try that in that theater and it turned out the fast acting anesthetic killed a fair amount of people as well? You shoot 12 cops in Texas you probably aren't going to get the Scandinavian treatment.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... Risks

                  There are are various levels of risk with everything. So,e people can have nasty reactions to teargas too, but that is used fairly indiscriminately

                  However, a mass event like the Russian theater is a bit different than a solo guy that they can put observation on through via the robot

                  It would appear to me that the risk of death if exposed to a fast anesthetic, under observation, allowing police to move in as soon as he goes down, slap cuffs and an oxygen mask on him, possibly inject an antidote/inhibitor, would be rather smaller than the almost certainty of death when driving an explosive charge up to him and setting it off...

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: AC Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                ".....gas....." He claimed to have a bomb. Despite what you've seen in the movies, magic "knockout gas" that instantly disables people does not exist, and there was a good chance he could have activated any device before gas affected him (and no guarantee someone who came prepared with body armour might not also have packed a gas mask).

                1. JohnG Silver badge

                  Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                  "He claimed to have a bomb."

                  So, we are afraid he will detonate a bomb, so we will send in a robot with a bomb and detonate it (to kill him), thereby risking the detonation of the bomb we are afraid of. This makes no sense whatsoever.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                    "So, we are afraid he will detonate a bomb, so we will send in a robot with a bomb and detonate it (to kill him), thereby risking the detonation of the bomb we are afraid of. This makes no sense whatsoever."

                    Actually, it makes perfect sense. No one arms a one-way bomb if they have the slightest hope of getting out alive. I suspect the attack was made before the perp crossed the Point of No Return. As long as the explosive isn't armed, the odds favored blowing up the perp before he DID arm it.

                  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                    Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                    "......so we will send in a robot with a bomb and detonate it (to kill him), thereby risking the detonation of the bomb we are afraid of. This makes no sense whatsoever." Only because your knowledge of explosives seems to only extend to Saturday morning cartoons. Most such devices have two stages - an initiator, AKA a detonator, and a main charge. The initiator provides a very intense, high-pressure pressure wave to trigger the main charge. The initiator usually has to be at least in contact with if not embedded into the main charge, otherwise the main charge will not explode. In looking for an example that might tie with your limited knowledge, you may have seen pics of mining charges where detonators are pushed into plastic explosives - the same detonator triggered only inches away from the plastic would not trigger the plastic (plastic explosive is so stable you can burn it on a camp fire). The type of explosives that make up main charges are usually chosen because their stability makes for safe handling, otherwise you (allegedly) end up like Abu Hamza al-Masri. When the cops used their small explosive they knew it was very unlikely to be close enough to the main charge of any bomb to cause it to explode. The same pressure wave that would not be triggering any explosives was still of sufficient force to disorient, disable or kill the perp, even through body armour (one of the nasty effects of the pressure waves caused by bombing in WW2 was people could survive the initial blast but have their lungs shredded by the pressure wave, leaving them to drown in their own blood).

                    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                      Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                      " Most such devices have two stages - an initiator, AKA a detonator, and a main charge"

                      And a serious bomber will have a dead-man switch. Even a nearby explosion won't be enough in most cases to disable the mechanism or prevent the bomber exploding when he lets it go.

                      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                        Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                        "And a serious bomber will have a dead-man switch."

                        Unless he was still holding out on hope of getting away. In which case, he wouldn't cross the Point of No Return unless he was certain he was doomed. I'd have to look, but either they took him out before he could sense he was doomed, or they realized somehow he was bluffing.

              3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

                @AC Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                "Clearly the shooter was confined to an area with no alternative escape routes. Flooding it with a tear gas or a fast-acting anesthetic (perhaps using the same robot which was deployed for the execution) would have been a safe and effective way to take him down. Even if he did have a gas mask, these only protect you for a limited time, especially at high concentrations of the active agent."

                I wonder if you know how stupid you sound...

                Do you recall the movie theater where the Russians used gas to take out a bunch of Chechen terrorists who were holding dozens of civilians hostage?

                Definitely an armchair QB.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                  I wonder if you know how stupid you sound...

                  Oh, I do not mind sounding like a peaceful village idiot. We already have a quite sufficient supply of strong, brave men here for whom terminal violence is the first and only possible course of action.

          2. hypernovasoftware

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            He started shooting at the police so no, they couldn't take the chance to wait him out.

            1. P. Lee Silver badge

              Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

              >He started shooting at the police so no, they couldn't take the chance to wait him out.

              Why not? They had a bomb handy to blow him up but nothing slightly less lethal? Has no-one developed a weapon system where you can calibrate the range and hit someone in body armour hard enough to knock them down without killing them?

              Perhaps getting to the point where we are bombing criminals is an indicator that someone's been watching too much robocop? It might have been effective this time, but what happens next time, when the gunman knows high might be on the bad end of a bombing run? Does he start carrying sticks of dynamite to lob at the robots... or the police hiding around the corner?

              At least the prospect of a trial where he can "say his piece" has the chance of calming the situation rather than forcing him to go down all guns blazing.

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                >Has no-one developed a weapon system where you can calibrate the range and hit someone in body armour hard enough to knock them down without killing them?

                I've idly thought along the same lines in the wake of past school shootings - or rather, in the wake of some people calling for teachers to be armed. Is there some non-lethal system of taking a gunman down, or a system of containing them, or rendering their weapon unusable - like a massive electromagnet? I haven't thought of anything plausible, but then I'm not a weapons designer.

                Sadly though, most research into non-lethal weapons have been focused on crowd control, gassess, nets, gloopy foams, noise, microwaves etc Curiously, tear-gas is used because it was originally developed as a tactical warfare weapon, but the Geneva Convention on chemical weapons banned it for that use. The manufactures therefore pitched it as a civilian crowd-control agent instead.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

                  They couldn't just wait him out because he had already threatened to explode himself, and there was a high risk for collateral damage. If he felt he had no way out, he'd likely engage in a fail-deadly suicide charge like you read all the time in the Middle East. Could be as simple as a grenade still gripped but with the pin pulled; shoot him and he drops and arms it. Could be as elaborate as an explosive-packed jacket with a dead-man's switch. They had to take him out while he still felt he had a way out, meaning he wouldn't cross the Point of No Return yet.

          3. VulcanV5

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            "If the Dallas PD had him contained they could settle in and wait him out. There was no indication of any hostages, so taking up positions to cover escape routes and waiting is viable. He will either try charging his way out, shoot himself, or surrender."

            Absolutely. Let's respect the rights of a mass murderer who has just erased the rights of so many other people. Let's commit God knows how many officers to an effective siege. Let's cordon off a substantial chunk of the downtown area and disrupt countless businesses and the lives of all who work in 'em. Let's make an even bigger dent in the public purse for the additional cost of the law enforcement resources required to respect the aforesaid mass murderer's rights.

            The glib nobility of nauseating posts like yours says all there is to say about why contemporary Society is so dysfunctional. Determinedly oblivious to the cost and consequences of what they propose, it's thanks entirely to oh-so politically correct libertarians that a mindset now exists within which the abuser and the abused, the murderer and the murdered, have equal rights.

            Well done then, Dallas PD, for displaying a different kind of nobility by exercising that particular f*cker's right to a quick and humane exit.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

              "Absolutely. Let's respect the rights of a mass murderer who has just erased the rights of so many other people. Let's commit God knows how many officers to an effective siege. Let's cordon off a substantial chunk of the downtown area and disrupt countless businesses and the lives of all who work in 'em. Let's make an even bigger dent in the public purse for the additional cost of the law enforcement resources required to respect the aforesaid mass murderer's rights."

              Yes, because it's the law. If you are up for extrajudicial killings of bad people, why bother having a criminal justice system at all? Just point and shoot at everyone who commits a crime, saving a lot of money.

              The reason we have the rule of law is precisely to prevent such things from happening. The same law that Micah Johnson broke in killing police officers is the one that should prevent criminals being summarily executed by police without trial. You know, murder.

        3. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          "Total, utter bullshit. This is exactly the same moronic reasoning that lead Bush 43 and Blair to invade Iraq"

          WTF?

          If they had followed that reasoning they would have used the robot/bomb to blow up some other criminal who hadn't shot anyone (recently).

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          Although I do agree deadly force should always be a last resort, try to look at it from the cop's point of view.

          1) 5 of their own shot dead (one a newlywed, one the father of two children) and 7 wounded.

          2) A trained soldier holed up with assault weapons, threatening to kill more people and explode bombs.

          3) An unconfirmed report that other shooters were on the loose.

          The Dallas police officers must have rightly decided that negotiations would go nowhere with this guy and could even be highly counterproductive. Imagine if he made good on his threat to detonate explosives and kill more people? If any police sniper had been able to draw a bead on him, they would have dropped him after the first warning, and rightly so.

          Being killed by a robot bomb is a bit bizarre, admittedly, but the cops will most likely be vindicated here. As for the two other shootings that sparked these events, that is less clear.

          The real concern should be about what happens next. A very large, red line has been crossed here in America. Ironic that it should happen in Dallas, of all places.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            > Imagine if he made good on his threat to detonate explosives and kill more people?

            And blowing him up doesn't risk triggering whatever he might have had? Riiiiiisky call, IMO, unless you have good reason to think the bomb threats are BS.

            > If any police sniper had been able to draw a bead on him, they would have dropped him after the first warning, and rightly so.

            If popping up to shoot again, sure. If covering in a hole yelling " you ain't getting me" not being able to shoot at anyone, then I don't see the justification for shooting.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            > Although I do agree deadly force should always be a last resort, try to look at it from the cop's point of view.

            From a cop's point of view: if other cops stopped executing black men for having broken tail lights then the situation would never have arisen.

          3. ian 22

            Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

            Ironic it happened in Dallas? Why ironic? Wasn't Dallas where Kennedy was assassinated? Perhaps Dallas can claim the title "Sniper City".

        5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Preston .. Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          You have an active shooter who will not surrender and he has already killed several police officers.

          I suggest you try to understand that the police have little or no options.

          He positioned himself in to such an area that the police could not get a clear shot

          So how do you end the threat?

          You have to kill the shooter with the least amount of risk to yourself and your fellow officers.

          Enter the robot.

          BTW, some of these robots can be outfitted with guns too.

          Of course you need to take a chill pill.

        6. RealityisntReal

          Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

          If you really believe that idiocy then I am sure the Dallas police would have been glad for you to go in with him and talk nicely to him. Volunteering for the next time? Thought not.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It makes sense, but...

      Hopefully they release the video. Seeing a boom and this asshole writhing a few times on the ground before going still might be a video I would watch.

    3. Christian Berger Silver badge

      No it doesn't make sense

      There's someone alone in a building. Just seal the building and he'll eventually want to come out by himself. Killing him, particularly in such a way, is the _worst_ they could do.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: No it doesn't make sense

        CB offered, "...Just seal the building..."

        You mean, like, send in a masonry crew to brick up all the windows?

        Or get a building-sized Kevlar baggie and wrap up the entire building using huge robot arms?

        Is that what you mean by "just seal"?

        Can you explain, keeping in mind that it was a sniper, and then justify your use of the word 'just'?

    4. Ralph B

      Re: It makes sense, but...

      > every civilian will demand their 2A right to a killer assault robot

      That makes sense. The NRA can easily become the NRRA (National Rifle and Robot Association) to campaign for it.

      And it only takes a two letter change to make WALL-E into KILL-E.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    talking of the war

    The British came up with a better idea of putting explosives up against something they didn't want there anymore.

    Drive them up on a framework held in front of a tank. The Churchill AVRE to be specific. The charges had interesting names - Goat, Carrot and Onion.

    Must also say when it said bomb disposal robot I had a vision of the British Army's Wheelbarrow as used in Northern Ireland which had a shotgun for shooting the detonating mechanism of car bombs.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: talking of the war

      Didn't the Brits also invent the Daleks?

      EXTERMINATE?

      Rise of the machines!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: talking of the war

      "Must also say when it said bomb disposal robot I had a vision of the British Army's Wheelbarrow as used in Northern Ireland which had a shotgun for shooting the detonating mechanism of car bombs."

      That was my first thought as well.

  3. Breen Whitman

    The large bomb disposal robots we have seen in news and films are different to a bomb carrying robot. The latter are simpler, smaller, quieter and designed to carry a payload guided by remote operator who can then trigger the device. These are designed for purpose - to Kill.

    Another example of militarization of police.

    1. cyke1

      so want the cops to have no guns when other side has them? Kinda sad how people think public should have better weapons then the people that are suposed to keep the peace.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "so want the cops to have no guns when other side has them? Kinda sad how people think public should have better weapons then the people that are suposed [sic] to keep the peace."

        Ideally neither side would have guns, but your stupid population and government won't make that happen, so how about we settle for the police not having killer robots? You know, like the OP said?

    2. Fink-Nottle

      > These are designed for purpose - to Kill.

      I suppose I'm being naive, but surely these bots could be easily equipped with some sort of incapacitating knock-out gas - perhaps with explosives as a final measure?

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        of course

        But then again, they could have filmed him and use incapacitating gas.

        Quite obviously the purpose was to kill him, not to detain him.

        While some people may be happy, the correct thing on a country where the rule of law works is to put people to trial. And a fair one.

        Now, he can end up being a martyr, and he proved his point.

        1. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: of course

          "Now, he can end up being a martyr, and he proved his point."

          He ended up dead and an idiot, black men shooting police isn't going to encourage them to ask questions first and shoot later is it.

          He should have shot some politicians instead.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: of course

            "He should have shot some politicians instead."

            No, he should have shot no-one.

        2. Richard Jones 1
          WTF?

          Re: of course

          Sadly precedent does show a few problems. In WWI when gas was used it had a slightly annoying problem of blowing back on the attacking forces who had fired the damned stuff.

          In other cases the high level of adrenalin in the suspect required very high concentrations of the gas so could be lethal anyway.

          How do you control wind and other air movements?

          How do you arrange for the delivery system to be available right now?

          It is hard to know the required level in good conditions, how big was the space, what would the required concentration of gas be?

          There was talk of him have built home produced bombs, a vest remains viable with the suspect intoxicated and probably more dangerous to spontaneous firing.

          It is easy to be an armchair speculator, it is harder to do what is needed.

          If people want to bend anything to create a martyr they will, it is the 'internet way' these days.

          Remember what he achieved, a huge increase in distrust; does that make him a real martyr in your eyes?

          How many more black Americans will now be killed because they might be another version of him?

          Was he deranged? Possibly, should he have been helped earlier? Possibly, Had he not only crossed lines, but smashed them to bits a different outcome might have possible.

          As it is he is just another sad suicide by cop case.

          Did he help the cause which promoted the march?

          I leave you to answer that one and keep my own private council.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "I suppose I'm being naive, but surely these bots could be easily equipped with some sort of incapacitating knock-out gas - perhaps with explosives as a final measure?"

        If, as the article reported, this was a bomb disposal robot what they'd have available would be an explosive charge. Can they put the whole scene on hold whilst somebody knocks up an alternative gas dispenser and tests it to make sure it can deliver the required dose?

        1. Bloakey1

          "If, as the article reported, this was a bomb disposal robot what they'd have available would be an explosive charge. Can they put the whole scene on hold whilst somebody knocks up an alternative gas dispenser and tests it to make sure it can deliver the required dose?"

          They routinely carry the M79 grenade launcher with various types of ammunition ranging from baton rounds to CS, tey also have these mounted on some of their AR15 / M16 variants in the form of the M 208 grenade launcher.

          They also have various forms of stun grenades that blind, disorientate and concuss a few of these delivered close would have done for a termination or arrest by well trained assaulting police / military.

          Where were their snipers? if a sniper had a line of sight on them then it works two way, they would have had a line of sight on him.

          Using a half kilo of C4 is lazy, causes structural damage and leap frogs controlled options and agressivity from the oh my gawd we are being shot at to the holy shit we have used the doomsday scenario.

          Very messy, lots of claret and bits everywhere, nasty smell of iron in the air from the blood and a smell of charred pig that is somehow quite nice yet mentally repulsive.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Fink-Nottle

        "....surely these bots could be easily equipped with some sort of incapacitating knock-out gas...." WTF? So, the cops have him cornered, they have the chance to finish the confrontation with lethal force (which, after the suspect has used lethal force against the public, let alone officers, and still is a lethal threat, by law they are justified to do), and you want them to sit around on their hands, possibly giving the killer the chance to escape, and also ignoring that the officers were needed in the search for any accomplices, all on the off-chance someone would just happen along with a remotely-triggered canister of some super knockout gas?!?!? Seriously, get a clue. The cops used what they had at hand to safely end the threat to not just them but the public as well.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Fink-Nottle

          "WTF? So, the cops have him cornered, they have the chance to finish the confrontation with lethal force (which, after the suspect has used lethal force against the public, let alone officers, and still is a lethal threat, by law they are justified to do), and you want them to sit around on their hands, possibly giving the killer the chance to escape, and also ignoring that the officers were needed in the search for any accomplices, all on the off-chance someone would just happen along with a remotely-triggered canister of some super knockout gas?!?!? Seriously, get a clue. The cops used what they had at hand to safely end the threat to not just them but the public as well."

          Part of the reason we are in this situation in the United States is that the police have a shoot-first-don't-ever-ask-questions policy with respect to policing. The best way to escalate that, when blow-back starts, is to double down and move on to a blow-people-up-with-killer-robots policy.

          1. Fink-Nottle

            Re: Fink-Nottle

            > you want them to sit around on their hands, possibly giving the killer the chance to escape, and also ignoring that the officers were needed in the search for any accomplices, all on the off-chance someone would just happen along with a remotely-triggered canister of some super knockout gas?!?!?

            Given Janet Reno's consternation that a 'knock-out' gas did not exist at the time of the Davidian stand-off , I'd be suprised if some branch of law enforcement doesn't have an incapacitating agent on hand similar to the chemical agent used during the Russian theatre siege. Be that as it may ...

            If what you say is correct, then it is extremely worrying that a single gunman had cops so over-stretched they had to resort to unconventional, improvised tactics. You have to wonder how Dallas would cope with multiple coordinated attacks like Paris '15?

            How is it that 15 years (and countless intrusive baggage searches) after the US declared a 'War on Terror', local law enforcement has demonstrated it doesn't have an effective anti-terrorist strategy in place - or is this simply a case of incompetent personel?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "The large bomb disposal robots we have seen in news and films are different to a bomb carrying robot."

      According to the article this was a bomb disposal robot. They use a small charge to disrupt the suspect device (that was actually the purpose of the shotgun on the Wheelbarrow device) or blow open car boots etc. If the gunman is holed up it doesn't matter whether he sees the robot being rolled up or not, in fact it might be better if he does as it might encourage him to surrender.

    4. Bloakey1

      "The large bomb disposal robots we have seen in news and films are different to a bomb carrying robot. The latter are simpler, smaller, quieter and designed to carry a payload guided by remote operator who can then trigger the device. These are designed for purpose - to Kill.

      Another example of militarization of police."

      Errr, except they are not designed to kill. They are designed to carry a payload such as a listening device, camera, explosive charge for disruption and / or demoilition. Having it drop a half a kilo of plastic explosive near to a holed up shooter is a creative use of said device,

      Personally i would have fired in a load of CS gas and sent a few boys in with MP5s to take him hopefully alive.

      Another back man dead to help incite and fuel the fires, an intelligence opportunity lost.

      Yes, they are and think like the military and have an us and them complex. They should be of the people and operate with concensus this however appears to have been lost.

  4. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Coat

    Looks like someone...

    Has been reading BOFH - Robot wars...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

    With five police dead, there was zero chance he was ever going to see a trial. Judge, jury and now remote-controlled executioner. Expect an escalation from both sides. This is far from over.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

      So the Dallas Police are just another violent street gang, who take revenge, not a professional force charged with keeping the peace in society? You may be right, I fear.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

        >So the Dallas Police are just another violent street gang, who take revenge, not a professional force charged with keeping the peace in society?

        The Dallas Police are nothing more or less than a collection of human beings, some of whom in the circumstances would have been scared, nervous, angry etc, despite their collective training and experience. I don't know enough about the circumstances to make a judgement on their tactical decisions.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Allan George Dyer Re: I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

        ".....who take revenge......" You obviously know nothing about US law, I suggest you go,do a lot more reading. The killer had refused to negotiate, refused to surrender, and stated he wanted to kill cops. The DoJ policy on lethal force states the following: ".....law enforcement officer ....may use deadly force only when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person....." The cops didn't know exactly what the killer had in his bolthole, but they knew he was armed with functioning firearms, claimed to have a bomb, and had shown every intent on killing. As such the cops were under no obligation to risk their own lives by going in and seeing exactly what weapons he had, and definitely legally obliged to minimise the risk to others the killer presented should he escape. Legally they had to try and kill him with minimal threat to the public and themselves, which a controlled explosion did. Killing him was completely legal.

        The ironic bit is the killer would have known exactly the legality of the situation. As a reservist he had been deployed to Afghanistan and would have been told the legality of when and when not to kill as part of the rules of engagement. He knew that, when he rebuffed efforts to negotiate, he was committing suicide by cop, he probably just hoped he could go out shooting and take a few more cops with him. IMHO, I'm quite happy the bomb robbed him of the chance of further killing.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

          Re: Allan George Dyer I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

          @ Matt Bryant - Please note that my comment was a reply to AC's comment, "With five police dead, there was zero chance he was ever going to see a trial." which goes beyond the specifics of the situation. Would the cops have killed him if he had escaped, and then walked into a police station naked, unarmed and said, "I killed those cops" - AC's comment suggests yes.

          As for the situation in Dallas, I don't know enough about what happened, but I think there are questions to answer, most importantly, did they consider less lethal options?

          A trial is important not just because of justice for the accused, but for how society sees itself. If a police force can arrest someone who has killed five officers so that he stands trial, then doesn't that suggest that they, in general, value life and don't shoot without good reason?

    2. FuzzyTheBear
      Black Helicopters

      Upped the ante.

      When will we see suspects armed with drones bombing the shit of civilians from a remote location ?

      That is my very real nightmare .

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Upped the ante.

        "When will we see suspects armed with drones bombing the shit of civilians from a remote location ?"

        I don't know about drones, but don't forget "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, who set up numerous elaborate bomb traps. I think he also sent several bombs through the mail.

        Terrorist drone bombings are probably not their style. Their preferred MO is the kamikaze attack, which they already did with 9/11. They don't care about surviving, and getting up close is one of the best ways to be sure of the job.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Upped the ante.

        Even if this was a 'thing' (like mass shootings by lone gunmen), the chances are you'd be more likely to be involved in a car accident. I'd worry more about IEDs; forget the drone part.

      3. Def Silver badge

        Re: Upped the ante.

        When will we see suspects armed with drones bombing the shit of civilians from a remote location?

        Drones? All you need is a willing suicide bomber, a dirty nuke, and a Cessna. And you could probably rig up the Cessna to be piloted remotely. Set it off in the direction of the nearest city, and high-tail it the other way.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

      Life imitates art, with that many stars in GTA you do not last long.

      It's a sad state of the world that in many countries over and over differences (colour of skin/religion/even nose shape) still invoke violence on both sides. A life is a life regardless of which side it is.

      The only way this is going to stop is if both black lives matter and the police come together to condemn and stop all the killings. If I was on either side that is what I would be working towards though looking at some of the comments made by both sides in the media it's not going to happen.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    A first!

    It is this the Obamoroid or the Dalekama?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    I thought it was the flying drones that were all the rage. Robots seem so 20th century but perhaps I'm just getting jaded in my old age.

    1. Rod 6

      I think I see a market opportunity,explosive drone anyone?

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Police State or anarchy

    I can understand that they sent a robot in to avoid other deaths but why an explosive, why not some kind of sleeping gas or other non lethal method..

    This is more than likely going to give bad guys stupid ideas about sending their own robots and bombs.... Raspberry PIs and /or Arduinos easily have the capacity of driving robots with all the appropriate attached goodies especially when the SparkFun robots can be bought for a handle of dollars, especially when and a kid has the knowledge/capacity to build one.

    Personally, I don't agree with their choice of lethal "execution"... It all boils down to Kangaroo courts and I believe that this will simply to an escalation in violence from both parties.. When 1st world countries begin these kind of tactics then we should forfeit the right to condone what other countries are doing..

    It's called terrorism when the bad guys do this, what do you call it when the "good" guys do it.. BAton Rouge was wring, Dallas was wrong and it looks like we are heading down a very dirty path.

    When the state starts using these kinds of powers then don't expect anything other than chaos to follow.

    I also blame the media for a lot of this kind of escalation and often wonder who is truly driving them and what their true objectives really are...

    1. Circadian

      Re: Police State or anarchy

      Wish we had Lewis Page to provide some details of what type of charge is required for bomb disposal - I would have thought quite small, and not something capable of killing a man through armoured vest. Which begs the question - how is it that a police force has ready access to an anti-personnel explosive device? Or am I wrong and the bomb-disposal charge is actually very powerful?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Police State or anarchy

        >This is more than likely going to give bad guys stupid ideas about sending their own robots and bombs....

        I'm sure that bad guys have already had the idea, and indeed some US police forces have, in the last year, conducted exercises in dealing with hypothetical drone-based terrorist situations.

        >how is it that a police force has ready access to an anti-personnel explosive device?

        An anti-personnel explosive device could be a shaped-charge that SWAT teams use for breaching walls or doors - explosives don't distinguish between flesh and brick.

        'Water disruptors' are commonly used for bomb disposal - the shaped charge results in a jet of water that destroys a bomb before it can explode:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomb_disposal#Projected_water_disruptors

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gunman murdered by the police?

    If the guy was in a building and shooting from it, could the police not remove themselves from the line of fire?

    Starve him out or let him finish himself. He's no saint and I can't condone his alleged actions, but killing him doesn't allow justice to be served. The decision to use this robot in this manner should be investigated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

      Hmmm, aren't police snipers a thing?

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

      "If the guy was in a building and shooting from it, could the police not remove themselves from the line of fire?

      Starve him out or let him finish himself. He's no saint and I can't condone his alleged actions, but killing him doesn't allow justice to be served. The decision to use this robot in this manner should be investigated."

      He had made bomb threats, meaning waiting it out could mean more explosions (including himself with say an explosive jacket; guaranteed collateral damage and possible more cops dead because the magnitude of his possible explosive can't be estimated).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

        "He had made bomb threats, meaning waiting it out could mean more explosions (including himself with say an explosive jacket; guaranteed collateral damage and possible more cops dead because the magnitude of his possible explosive can't be estimated)."

        Kill him because a car park is more valuable than an innocent person's life? Because, you know, 'innocent until proven guilty'.

        People don't die when they're far enough away or suitably sheltered. Where's the patience? It's all now, now, now.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

          "Kill him because a car park is more valuable than an innocent person's life? Because, you know, 'innocent until proven guilty'."

          I got one for you: "Dead To Rights." The guy shot at cops and threatened to blow crap up. I'd need to consult Texas and federal statutes to be more precise, but by my reckoning that's two felonies (at lease one violent AND aggravated) AND an imminent threat of life. In most cops' books, that equals "all bets are off".

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

      if the cops use DEADLY FORCE on a POTENTIAL THREAT to civilian lives, safety, and also the lives and safety of police officers, it's not "murder".

      It's a PUBLIC SERVICE.

      (expected down-votes from unnecessarily squeamish 'feelers' who feel instead of think)

      self-defense is, and always WILL be, a HUMAN RIGHT. Defense of OTHERS is HEROIC. The COPS were HEROES.

      1. Tomato42 Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

        @bombastic bob: right, because "heroes" are incapable of doing evil things

        see also: The Hague Invasion Act

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

        "if the cops use DEADLY FORCE on a POTENTIAL THREAT to civilian lives, safety, and also the lives and safety of police officers, it's not "murder".

        It's a PUBLIC SERVICE."

        Oh good: so if someone witnesses a police officer gunning down an innocent person, like happens frequently, they should kill the cop as a public service? Or for some reason does that not fit your ideas?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gunman murdered by the police?

        self-defense is, and always WILL be, a HUMAN RIGHT. Defense of OTHERS is HEROIC. The COPS were HEROES.

        Wasn't the dead sniper guy taking a stance to defend other coloured people against the (very corrupt) cops?

        Dallas cops don't really seem the "hero" type lately.

  10. Melanie Winiger

    Yep. This robot usage sets a precedent.

    There was no chance of the shooter being taken alive. But I have severe doubts about the endgame in this case.

    I only hope TCS don't write the controlling software for the robots.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "There was no chance of the shooter being taken alive."

      Gangsta racists who gun down whites from ambush and won't stop firing guns at the cops (of all colors) rarely are.

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        WTF?

        Gangsta racists who gun down whites from ambush and won't stop firing guns at the cops (of all colors) rarely are.

        You mean the one's who live quietly at home with their mom and join the Army Reserves to take six month deployments in Afghanistan? Yeah, those gangsta racists. #smh #ffs

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. Chris G Silver badge

    Tear Gas

    Along with other incapacitants as well as flash bangs followed by a SWAT team might have been a better way to go but in reality how was killing the shooter with a robot that different to shooting him in a fire fight where it would be called self defence? Either way he is dead and killed by the cops, if this was the only way they could deal with him it may be justifiable.

    In recent years though the US has a history of executing people without the due process of law, it's called drone strike, hundreds of people including some fair few innocent collaterall damage victims have been killed or executed based on intelligence reports, no proper chain of evidence, judge or jury and often in places the US (and UK) are not at war with.

    I guess the method has come home to roost.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tear Gas

      Ah, drone strikes, Obama's favorite foreign policy tool.

      1. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: Tear Gas

        Ah, drone strikes, Obama's favorite foreign policy tool.

        Downvote this if you wish, but the unilateral deployment of drones to "save" American solider deployments has exploded since 2009. This is the go-to solution for the Obama Administration.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: Tear Gas

          No downvote from me.

          But why are people assuming that any future president will stop using drones escapes me. As you indicate the usage of drones means less coffins with US soldiers in them. Drones are here to stay.

          Please note I make no comments on ethical implications.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Tear Gas

            " As you indicate the usage of drones means less coffins with US soldiers in them"

            And in all liklihood more coffins with US civilians in them.

            Asymetric warfare is a bitch.

        2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Tear Gas

          I'm pretty sure drones are used so much because the technology is available, and not because any particular president is in place.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tear Gas

            > I'm pretty sure drones are used so much because the technology is available, and not because any particular president is in place.

            I'm pretty sure drones are used so much because the counter technology is not available, and not because and particular president is in place.

            FTFY

        3. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Tear Gas

          >deployment of drones to "save" American solider deployments has exploded since 2009. This is the go-to solution for the Obama Administration.

          Well that and 'Private Security Contractors' ( a euphemism for mercenaries). If any private contractors are killed, they don't show up in the statistics of dead US service personal.

          http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-return-of-the-mercenary/6409630

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Tear Gas

      "...but in reality how was killing the shooter with a robot that different to shooting him in a fire fight where it would be called self defence?"

      Because sending in the robot is not self defence, you said it yourself. The idea is supposed to be that killing a person is a last resort, not a convenient way to end a troublesome situation.

      And for anyone who says that he threatened to blow stuff up, you don't generally solve this by blowing him up yourself, without a detailed analysis of the explosives and location; you could end up doing a lot more damage.

  12. Mark 85 Silver badge

    We're all second guessing...

    just like those do the morning after the game. We weren't there. Was the shooter in an enclosed area? Was he firing out of windows? How entrenched was he? The stores mention that negotiations broke down and the gunman resumed fire on the police. Just police or civilians?

    If there's open windows, gas would not be an option. Possibly ingress and egress were limited and that limits a SWAT team rushing in? Sniper? The sniper has to be able to get a clear, clean shot.

    This is still murky at best... While the Dallas Police have a pretty good reputation for being forthright in their dealings, the situation currently will taint anything said or done. I do hope for some "post-action" analysis as to the "why" it ended this way.

    I do remember the Philadelphia Police bombing a sniper on a rooftop back in the 70's IIRC. Killed him/them and burnt the building down. Sometimes decisions are made on the tactical situation of the moment... sometimes they are good, other times they are bad.

    I think any judgment in this is a bit premature as we don't have all the information.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: We're all second guessing...

      Not to mention that if the guy brought body armor they couldn't know whether he may have also brought a gas mask. I'd prefer they took him alive if possible but only if they could be sure it would work. While some are complaining about the lack of a fair trial here, I don't think anyone is going to argue that he wasn't guilty, and Texas has the death penalty - which any judge in the state would surely give him for killing five cops. The only difference taking him alive would have made would be to learn more about his motives and waste a few million in a trial and years of appeals.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: We're all second guessing...

      That was the MOVE. they burned the block down and refused to let the FD put it out. It still has not been rebuilt.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: We're all second guessing...

        well to the person that down voted me .

        MOVE is a Philadelphia-based black liberation group founded by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart) in 1972. The group lives communally and frequently engages in public demonstrations against racism, police brutality, and other issues.

        The group is particularly known for two major conflicts with the Philadelphia Police Department. In 1978, a standoff resulted in the death of one police officer, injuries to several other people and life sentences for nine members. In 1985, another standoff ended when a police helicopter dropped two bombs on their compound, which was a row house in the middle of Osage Avenue. This killed eleven MOVE members, including Africa and five children. Fire destroyed 65 houses and prompted widespread news coverage

      2. Long John Baldrick

        Re: We're all second guessing...

        Just for your information, the block was rebuilt at tremendous taxpayer expense, the builders did a KICKBACK-aided job, and the Fire Department was being shot at by MOVE members so could not get close enough to be effective.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: We're all second guessing...

      If there's open windows,

      Car park - all open. So the only way to knock him out without a fight was to simply drive one of those armoured personnel carriers police has bought with Bush and Obama's grants up to him at point blank range and point the 50 cal at his head and ask him nicely to surrender.

      Not particularly difficult, kit was available (Dallas police is a recipient and has them), they deliberately decided to execute him instead of putting him in a situation where he had no choice but to surrender.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: We're all second guessing...

        VRH "...Car park... ...simply drive one of those armoured personnel carriers..."

        Do you think that a typical APC will even fit (height) into a typical parking garage?

        People should simply just merely not use the words 'simply', 'just',and 'merely' when they're proposing something that's impractical.

    4. Long John Baldrick

      Re: We're all second guessing...

      Worked in Philadelphia when it happened. There was a house full of Africas. I do forget the name of the group but all had taken the last name "Africa". House had been fitted out like a fortress. Water cannons were used to try to enter the house. It didn't work. Police dropped "an explosive device" on the house, but those inside had filled the house with cans of gasoline. Then everything went to hell.

  13. Magani
    Mushroom

    The 'POLICE DO NOT CROSS' tape...

    ... in the photo is rather apt.

    It would seem that crossing the Police in parts of the Land of the Free™ is fatal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The 'POLICE DO NOT CROSS' tape...

      > crossing the Police in parts of the Land of the Free™ is fatal.

      Not even necessary to cross them - see latest 'driving while black' killing.

      Stopped for a broken tail light, informing the officer that he was a CCW holder and was carrying - as per the rules - and apparently following instructions to get out license etc, still got him shot.

  14. nilfs2
    Facepalm

    lol @ yanks

    They train and individual in the Army to become a cold blooded serial killer, and then set him free on a gun friendly state and expect that nothing wrong is going to happen.

    1. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: lol @ yanks

      Not really. The shooter had combat training, but his main skill was carpentry. Not exactly Full Metal Jacket or anything.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: lol @ yanks

      I fail to see your point. There's lots of us, trained, combat experience, live in gun friendly places, and we haven't killed anyone*. Should all us vets who own guns go turn ourselves in as being a danger?

      *anyone since our combat experience

      1. nilfs2
        Meh

        Re: lol @ yanks

        You are lucky to have a strong mindset, but not everyone is like that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lol @ yanks

      They train and individual in the Army

      Police now get the SAME training as a part of the SAME grant program which allows them to buy armored personnel carriers, assault weapons and anything short of an M1 Abrams. The one Bush instituted post-911 and Obama continued and even expanded after him.

      So once again, what were you saying? Law and justice? More like Judge Dredd.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: lol @ yanks

      >They train and individual in the Army to become a cold blooded serial killer, and then set him free on a gun friendly state and expect that nothing wrong is going to happen.

      It is not likely to be the training that damaged this man's decision making processes. There is, however, a lot of evidence of people's thinking being damage by concussion, and by the psychological experience of constantly being on alert in a war zone.

      I don't know enough about this individual's past, nor do I have any expertise, to state that it was his military service that caused him to act the way that he did. However, the statistics concerning former service personal - rates of suicide, prison, depression etc - are frightening.

  15. scrubber
    Terminator

    Do we even need cops anymore?

    As long as the robot can tell black from white, and I don't mean morally, then surely the US police are redundant?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three Laws Of Robotics

    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    1. Joe H.
      Holmes

      Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

      I was just about to mention this too.

      Now, if only the meat-sacks could follow the same laws unconditionally as well....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

      There will always be the case like the points switching of the runaway train - where there is an ethical debate about "the greater good". Asimov probably considered that in one of his stories?

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

        There will always be the case like the points switching of the runaway train - where there is an ethical debate about "the greater good". Asimov probably considered that in one of his stories?

        He indeed did in Foundation and Earth where he introduced the zeroth law:

        A robot may not injure humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

      This was a remote controlled vehicle, not an autonomous robot.

      The Three Laws don't apply.

    4. Diogenes

      Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

      Oh so 3 or 4 laws dreamt up by a novelist have any legal force ?

      Rushes off to write a novel in which I am the King of the World & worshipped as a God, and people willingly follow all my diktats

      1. Nixinkome

        Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

        ...and, of course, sell it.

      2. Fink-Nottle

        Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

        > Rushes off to write a novel in which I am the King of the World & worshipped as a God, and people willingly follow all my diktats

        Oh, has the copyright to L. Ron Hubbard's work lapsed?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

        "Oh so 3 or 4 laws dreamt up by a novelist have any legal force ?"

        I wonder that you seem to think anyone is making that argument.

        Perhaps Diogenes isn't the most suitable handle?

    5. ICPurvis47
      Headmaster

      Re: Three Laws Of Robotics

      Asimov's Rules only apply to sentient, autonomous robots. This so-called robot was nothing of the sort, it was operated and controlled by a human being, which are not subject to these rules.

  17. Johnny Canuck

    knock out gas?

    Not sure there is anything like weaponized knockout gas. Dosage would be uncontrollable so probably either useless or fatal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: knock out gas?

      Not sure there is anything like weaponized knockout gas. Dosage would be uncontrollable so probably either useless or fatal.

      The usual rule of thumb in these matters is, if you can think of something, then somebody has already made a weapon out of it. Weaponized anesthetics certainly do exist; here is one well-publicised example.

      They are indeed highly dangerous, with a large fraction of affected people dying unless an immediate medical assistance is provided. Nonetheless, they are much less fatal than being blown to pieces.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have the right to remain silent...

    {BOOM}

  19. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. David Roberts Silver badge

      African Americans?

      I assume this is a sad attempt at trolling?

      There is a logical disconnect when you consider "African Americans" who are in for example the police and armed forces.

      Why not just sterilize them all? Thst would solve your apparent problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: African Americans?

        "There is a logical disconnect when you consider "African Americans" who are in for example the police and armed forces."

        An Afro-american college professor was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 last night. He said that he hoped his son at college in Dallas would remember what he had been taught about any contact with the police.

        Basically the message from high performing Afro-american fathers to their sons is to keep cool, be very respectful, do not make any sudden moves, keep hands visible and ask first before reaching to a pocket. That's asking a lot of adolescents in what is recognized as a stressful situation.

        Sadly it is a generally good advice to anyone in any country who finds themselves in contact with a law enforcing person who appears to be already convinced that a crime has been committed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: African Americans?

          "That's asking a lot of adolescents in what is recognized as a stressful situation."

          That's because they are taught the wrong idea. Don't behave like you've been stopped by people sworn to protect you - behave like you've be held up at gunpoint by an irate bunch of ISIS thugs. Avoid being threatening in the slightest, avoid angering them in any way and you might just live another day.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: African Americans?

            "That's because they are taught the wrong idea. Don't behave like you've been stopped by people sworn to protect you - behave like you've be held up at gunpoint by an irate bunch of ISIS thugs. Avoid being threatening in the slightest, avoid angering them in any way and you might just live another day."

            Counterproductive. They've heard too many stories of their bros submitting and getting shot and killed ANYWAY. To them, submission means death, which puts them in "cornered mouse" territory with no choice but to resist; better the chance of death than the certainty.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      @deiter

      Crawl back under your rock scumbag.

  20. tentimes

    You have 20 seconds to comply....

    Robocop anyone?

    1. Colin Ritchie
      Windows

      Re: You have 20 seconds to comply....

      ED 209 didn't have Azimov Circuits either.

      During the Second World War, Russia experimented with training dogs to run under German tanks with anti tank mines strapped to them. The project was abandoned when it was found that the dogs were as likely to run under a Russian tank as a German one.

      A Bombot is a scarily more efficient invention. https://xkcd.com/1613/

      Azimov Circuits for all civilised robots please.

  21. ChubbyBehemoth

    Additional options

    Obviously the only thing they thought about was to incapacitate the shooter with the safest means they had. But would it really be too much to ask for other means than lethal force? Something like a large air bag would probably do the trick of knocking someone out. Could still be lethal, but at least there is some chance of getting the person to court and sentenced like a civilised nation would prefer.

    Oh right,.. and then you get to kill them anyway as you happen to have death penalties yonder, so why bother the whole due process. I feel sad for the officers that got gunned down by this madman, but one can ask oneself what purpose do assault rifles have in your society. Fight the man? Without discrimination? Blow some hapless wanderer from your porch?

    Do you have any idea how insane the whole concept is to someone who regards guns to be in the sole possession of wannabe criminals? Guys with guns,... homicidal maniacs and shoot out victims in the bud. If you see one, stay well clear and distrust their motives whatever their dress code. For some that means to be better safe than sorry. All lives matter you fools.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Additional options

      > what purpose do assault rifles have in your society. Fight the man? Without discrimination? Blow some hapless wanderer from your porch?

      The article couldn't (as usual) keep the terminology straight.

      Very few assault rifles (full/burst/select fire) are in civilian hands, and effectively never used in crimes. A) the check-up for ownership is rather extensive, B) the availability is quite limited and prices very high.

      Assault weapons, effectively anything black and scary militaristically looking (for instance the AR-15 (http://www.riflescopeguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/AR-15-with-Scope.jpg) was covered under the ass.weapon ban, while the functionally equivalent Mini-14 (http://www.aaarmory.com/images/categories/ruger-mini-14.jpg) wasn't. These are both semi-auto only, firing the same ammunition.

      And the gentle non-banned Mini-14 can of course dress up in tacticool - still the same mechanism, just ergonomics and looks: https://i.imgur.com/L5qPRmj.jpg

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: Additional options

        Ruger, manufacturer of the Mini-14, has a reputation for 'getting along' with the Feds... Politics.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Additional options

        "Very few assault rifles (full/burst/select fire) are in civilian hands, and effectively never used in crimes. A) the check-up for ownership is rather extensive, B) the availability is quite limited and prices very high."

        But pre-1985 AK-47's are grandfathered and therefore legal to possess. Furthermore, due to them being so numerous (it and the simpler AK-M were a favorite export during the Cold War), a decent number of them end up on the black market. Weren't they the weapons of choice during the Hollywood Bank Robbery.

        1. SundogUK

          Re: Additional options

          Bollocks. Automatic weapons have been effectively banned since 1934:

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

          Any AK's legally available are semi-auto only. Just like the mini-14

  22. Rod 6

    My mind is boggled by the fact that they happened to have a 'bomb robot' on hand. Can you imagine Dorset police rocking up with one of these.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm

      It might be kinda handy at the Canford Bottom roundabout on a bank holiday Friday.

  23. 101

    Irony so thick....

    Defensive bomb disposal robot re-purposed to become a robotic bomb and weapon to kill a killer at a protest regarding excessive police violence and unjust homicide of minorities.

    All is fair in love and war I guess. I am thinking this wasn't about love, however.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Irony so thick....

      Add that one of the protesters of violence initiated the violence at the demonstration and it gets still thicker.

  24. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    They Were Just Being Polite

    ....and returned his BACKPACK........

  25. TimeMaster T
    Headmaster

    slight correction

    An "assault rifle" as legally defined is full auto and used by military and LEOs.

    An "assault weapon", which is what the gunman had and has no standard legal definition, is a semi-auto civilian version of a military assault rifle.

    Just being pedantic but this always ruffles me off when people mix up the two.

    .

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: slight correction

      assault rifle vs assault weapon.

      maybe true, but (sarcasm mode ON) we ALL know that those 'assault' thingies SHOOT PEOPLE ON THEIR OWN which is why politicians have to ban them, which we all know keeps them out of the hands of CRIMINALS, too...

    2. Winkypop Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: slight correction

      Assault rifle or assault weapon, neither are necessary in a civilised community.

      It's the "assault" bit that's the hint.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: slight correction

        You've never had to defend yourself during a riot, have you? I recall several shopkeepers packed these and machine pistols during the LA Riots of the 90's. Those stores tended to be the least looted in the aftermath.

      2. SundogUK

        Re: slight correction

        So if I call my toaster an 'assault' toaster, you would ban it?

        Calling something evil doesn't make it evil.

  26. sawatts
    Terminator

    Hows the Robot?

    No one seems to fussed over the fate of this poor hard working Robot. When will this madness end?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Hows the Robot?

      we'll give Mr. Bomb-bot a post-scrapous medal.

      /me wonders, if the robot loses an arm, can it be replaced with a biological one?

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: Hows the Robot?

        @bombastic bob: DON'T give them ideas!!

        1. sawatts

          Re: Hows the Robot?

          I recall a few years ago, two press releases in the same week: one concerned the development of autonomous armed sentry robots for South Korea. The second was a robot powered by a digestive system - which worked best when fueled with meat.

          It seems like a nobrainer to combine the two...

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Hows the Robot?

      A real trooper, actually. It survived and will probably be back in service soon.

  27. David Kelly 2

    Shooter Did Not Use "Assault" Rifle

    Disappointed in inaccuracy and failure to research before publication. Regurgitating the wishful speculation of lesser publications sullies your reputation.

    A real assault rifle (vs the look-alike styling exercise known as an AR-15) is fully automatic. Johnson used an old wooden stock SKS. Semi-automatic with a fixed non-removable magazine. Essentially WW-II design.

    The term, "assault rifle" is biased inflammatory rhetoric unworthy of rational debate, especially when the term is blatantly provably wrong.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Shooter Did Not Use "Assault" Rifle

      "The term, "assault rifle" is biased inflammatory rhetoric unworthy of rational debate, especially when the term is blatantly provably wrong."

      I think if we are talking about a man being blown up by a killer robot, having killed five police officers during a demonstration about the fact that Police seem to kill with impunity innocent black, and occasionally white, men for doing nothing at all wrong, and you think the worst thing about this is that a particular gun is called an 'assault rifle' rather than an 'assault weapon', I think you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.

      1. Long John Baldrick

        Re: Shooter Did Not Use "Assault" Rifle

        "the fact that Police seem to kill with impunity" If there was impunity then would not there be far more cases of this. What is the the number of police/public interactions that occur each year, and how many end up in death? I would submit that the non-lethal cases far outway the lethal ones.

        Folks, we are all suppossed to have reasonable intelligences on this website, but you are all sounding like Foxnews/Guardians commenters.

        One a side note to DavCrav, thank you for using your handle. There are far too many Anonymous POS who are too afraid to be connected in any way to the hate and drivel that they spew.

  28. martinusher Silver badge

    Just a small detail

    The demonstration and the assault were two completely unrelated events.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a small detail

      "The demonstration and the assault were two completely unrelated events."

      My understanding is that the five officers were at the demonstration?

      How can that be unrelated?

  29. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Of course...

    Robotic killing machine will be running evil Windows 10

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Of course...

      "Robotic killing machine will be running evil Windows 10"

      If that's true, make sure you do your criminal acts on Patch Tuesday?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well Obama's failed...

    ...so you now have Clinton or Trump. Who's going to turn this mess around?

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Well Obama's failed...

      Neither, We're screwed for the next 4.5 years regardless. Those in the UK may want to worry about Hillary getting the win. Trump is more likely to pull back to the borders where HC will want to start the next big one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well Obama's failed...

        The next big one will come anyway because Trump's such a hothead he'll piss someone big off and not realize it.

  31. Salts

    Got to admit ...

    Something about this makes me feel very uncomfortable, it does feel like an execution no matter what the circumstances, would hate this to become the norm!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Got to admit ...

      "Something about this makes me feel very uncomfortable"

      I'm sure you're not the only one.

      They are extraordinary circumstances, but still....

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    conspirarsey ferories

    there was more than one shooter!

  33. Adrian Midgley 1

    Could we call them drones please,

    not robots, unless they are operating independently?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    artificial intelligence

    will the robot receive counselling for the trauma its been through?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I ROBOT!

    No, you metal bastard! How many of the '3 Laws' did it break?

    Discuss....

  36. Dieter Haussmann

    Googlr is racist - they cried.

    Roger the robot is racist - they cried.

  37. rtb61

    All Lies By Law Enforcement

    They say they had to send a bomb in, why. They didn't know who was there and whether or not they were alone or had half a dozen hostages, they were only guessing but hey better civilians blown up than risking their own lives.

    They were only guessing because they no eye's on target, if they had eye's on target they could have accurately shot him. If the police snipers were too shit scared to raise their heads, fire the gutless cowards and get new ones or I don't know shine a bunch of spot lights on the guy so he can not see who to shoot at.

    They wanted to blow him up because they wanted to blow him up, whether there were no hostages or a dozen out of sight hostages they just wanted to blow him up, summary public execution. So why could they not mount a taser on the robot, nope, they wanted to, blow him up.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: All Lies By Law Enforcement

      How can snipers get a sight on their target if he's holed up behind a wall? There was a time they had to wait out a crazed rifle-toting bastard for three days. Snipers couldn't get to him because he hid in the basement. Finally, he decides to charge at them, and THAT's when he got shot, wounded, and caught.

      Thing was, in this case, the perp had made bomb threats, meaning attempting to charge in could've had explosive results, including potentially toppling the building.

  38. Spider

    Armchair quarterbacks

    wow, everyone blessed with hindsight today.

    Of course we should feel uncomfortable at this, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad call. Faced with so many dead already, an active shooter willing to keep going and the potential for explosive devices at unknown locations that he may have had the capability to detonate if not dealt with instantaneously?

    maybe not a perfect solution, but in the midst of the chaos an understandable one.

    Plus, next one who says "come and get me"? wait till they here the trundling metallic chassis....

    (and not one ROTM comment?)

  39. Oom Bryce
    Childcatcher

    The Automation of Justice

    Summing up what's been said so far, it looks as if this is the thin end of the wedge comprising the "Automation of Justice".

    I think we have embarked on a dangerous journey. The outcome has been predicted in many science fiction novels and movies.

    Is there any way we can turn back?

  40. DropCatcher-co-uk

    The blame game

    of course you can blame Holder, the NRA, white people, the police (a great deal of whom are black), even Obama, who I can let you in on a little secret, is actually also black himself. You would be willing to blame anyone for "blacks getting killed by other blacks" apart from the blacks actually doing the killing and of course the poor innocent blacks who put themselves in the situations where they were likely to be killed.

    It's also amusing how the black power separatists want to be given their own black ruled Nirvana where they can selflessly create a black society no longer oppressed by the "man".

    Tens of millions of good and decent black people were handed a fantastically prosperous and mineral rich country a couple of decades ago. This magical paradise was rich in gold, diamonds, platinum and virtually every other type of mineral and continent. This phenominally wealthy nation was handed over to its black citizens to allow them to control their own destiny and to build a fairer society.

    Yes, now how did South Africa work out for them?

  41. DropCatcher-co-uk

    Tree hugging liberal

    Right on brother, so if you were the Police Chief, at what body count would you have sent the robot in? Come on, we want to know. Only an idiot would criticize a (black) police chief without having a reasoned, cohesive strategy as an alternative proposal?

    When 20 of your officers had given their lives? When 50 had been slain? How about 200? No? You are actually say in that if this fine upstanding citizen had killed 200 officers, as well of course as healthy smattering of citizens, many of whom would have NEVER have pulled over black people for DWB or been racist, you would still not sanction the elimination of the threat?

    Well, I'm sure that the citizens of Dallas, white and black, would be extremely relieved that you're not wearing the Chief's uniform in place of the other fine black man who deserves to.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: The Automation of Justice

      He was an active shooter, in the process of committing crimes. So they took him down in the safest way they could, Legally.

  42. MJI Silver badge

    Things are messed up

    American Policeman executes a member of the public for being black, needs a murder charge.

    Another American goes (cannot say mad as this was well planned) strange and starts sniping Policemen from a completely different city to the above murder.

    If the country avoids widespread riots they will be lucky.

    Hopefully a murdering Policeman being locked up for life will help.

  43. wayne 8

    RotM?

    Whatever happened to RotM?

    The Tesla decap?

    This robotic Judge Dredd?

    Is El Reg now absorbed into the Collective?

  44. MachDiamond Silver badge

    I find it strange that the police have a bomb available to use close to hand and not a canister of tear gas that the robot could have taken in. If the bastard is claiming to have a bomb, setting another one off in the same area is very risky. A commercial explosive might be very safe, but a homemade concoction could be very twitchy.

    Tear gas/pepper spray work very well if the target doesn't have their mask on already. By the time they put the mask on, it may be too late to make a difference. Try a little sometime. It doesn't take much to get your eyes burning.

  45. MachDiamond Silver badge

    What is an assault weapon?

    A hunting rifle has a wood stock.

    An assault rifle stock is made of metal or plastic or composite.

    A "high powered" weapon is ANY weapon being described by the media.

    An "unarmed" person is somebody that does not have arms or is stationary and more than 21 ft away from a LEO. Exception, somebody shot by police that is not in possession of a firearm as reported by a media outlet.

    According to FBI statistics, white males are shot 3 times more often than black males in total numbers.

    The easiest way to not get shot by the police is to be polite, do not run at them, obey their commands during a stop and take your medication regularly if you suffer from violent episodes or have a bad case of loudmouthism. If you want to commit suicide, just yell that you are going to kill them while running towards them or try to grab their weapon like the brat at the Trump rally that went for a officer's gun to shoot at Mr. Trump. The most famous method is to climb up a water tank tower and shoot at random people. As an antidote to those forms of suicide, I can only suggest arsenic chased with a glass of turpentine.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: What is an assault weapon?

      "A hunting rifle has a wood stock."

      So you're saying the Remington Model 710 is not a hunting rifle, then? It has a synthetic stock. And McMillan produces synthetic aftermarket stocks for hunting rifles. Mostly in camo.

      "An assault rifle stock is made of metal or plastic or composite."

      An AK-47, the most infamous assault rifle, has a wood stuck (easier to acquire).

      "According to FBI statistics, white males are shot 3 times more often than black males in total numbers."

      According to THE SAME statistics, most males (regardless of race) get shot by one of the SAME race. AND a significant chunk of deaths due to firearms are from suicides.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: What is an assault weapon?

        Ahhh, but the Remington 710's stock LOOKS like wood.

        I was trying to point out that there is no difference between rifles. I find it funny that many people in the UK seem to think that fully automatic firearms are available in the US when they are most certainly not. California just passed a law further restricting the capacity of magazines. I'm sure somebody robbing a bank is going to worry about that in the same way that they were diligent in obtaining their firearm(s) through proper channels with backgrounds checks. Strangely enough, a couple of notable cases involved rifles purchased through the system, so that doesn't work either.

        Canada used to (I think it's gone now) require registration of rifles. Not a single case of it being any use was found. About the only "good" it did was to provide some government employment for a few people.

  46. 2Fat2Bald

    Don't blame they one bit.

    The guy had just murdered several of their colleagues and had made it pretty clear he was going to murder more, if given the opportunity. They got him the only way they could. Leave the uniforms and affiliations out of it for a moment. He'd just murdered their friends. As human beings, what do you expect them to do?

    Then. I think it seems pretty obvious this was a form of "suicide by cop", going out in a blaze of glory - he wasn't going to come quietly. Any attempt to approach him to carry out an arrest would have led to even more deaths, any attempt to seal the area would have given him the opportunity to turn it into a shoot out, either when he shot at people attempting to seal it, or when he attempted to leave.

    I'd have done exactly the same.

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