Is This the Robot That Blew Up the Dallas Sniper? [VIDEO]

Is This the Robot That Blew Up the Dallas Sniper? [VIDEO]

Is This the Robot That Blew Up the Dallas Sniper? [VIDEO]

Law enforcement reached a first on Friday morning when it used a bomb disposal robot to take out the Dallas shooter. In short, the Dallas police blew him up, remotely.

A MARCbot-IV bomb disposal robot.

It was the first time such a device has been used to terminate a shooter. They’ve been used previously to diffuse bombs, or even take a pizza to a man in California who threatened suicide (it worked!), but never to take the life of a dangerous individual.

An explosive device was attached to the robot’s arm, and was then detonated when it was near the gunman. Dallas police chief David Brown told reporters, “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”

The device, thought to be a MARCbot-IV military robot, has been used in Iraq for bomb disposal. It is thought that over 200 law enforcement agencies own these devices, purchased through a government program which allows them to buy surplus military equipment.

The use of robots by the military is nothing new. Here’s a curious video showing captured World War II anti-tank robots that were developed by the Nazis (oh, those clever Germans!)

The usual hand wringers came out, concerned that this use of a robot constituted an excessive use of force by police. Said Rick Nelson, a former counterterrorism official at the National Security Council:

“The further we remove the officer from the use of force and the consequences that come with it, the easier it becomes to use that tactic. It’s what we have done with drones in warfare. In warfare, your object is to kill. Law enforcement has a different mission.”

Ryan Calo, professor of law at University of Washington law school, dismisses that notion.

“No court would find a legal problem here. When someone is an ongoing lethal danger, there isn’t an obligation on the part of officers to put themselves in harm’s way.”

And New York’s police commissioner, William J. Bratton, commented, “This is an individual that killed five police officers. So God bless ’em.”

God bless ’em indeed. You did what you had to do, Dallas. Well done.

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Mike says:

    They should have mounted a small loudspeaker on the robot playing “The Macarena” over and over in a loop. After the suspect loses the will to live, he may shoot himself!

  • J walter says:

    Why not attach tear gas to the robot?

  • GWB says:

    The further we remove the officer from the use of force and the consequences that come with it, the easier it becomes to use that tactic.

    I would say it becomes easier to resort to that tactic first.
    And, in general, Rick is right. But not using it ever becomes a silly restriction that simply ties the hands of the authorities.

    My problem is with the use of explosives. Why should police get to use them like that when civilians can’t? Police should be limited to the same weaponry the populace can legally acquire without a federal license.

    J walter July 9, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Why not attach tear gas to the robot?

    All tear gas does is irritate. It doesn’t incapacitate. In someplace open like a parking garage, it doesn’t work particularly well – especially if the perp is even remotely prepared (goggles and a damp bandana are adequate).
    The reason it works on a riot is because your goal is to break up the crowd, and it does that as it disperses among a tightly grouped pack of rioters – they move away from the cloud.

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