Dallas police were the first law enforcement agency to have used a robot to kill a suspect on U.S. soil, according to robotics expert Peter W. Singer.
The shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, was killed by police last night after he massacred five police officers and injured seven others at a Black Lives Matter protest. After negotiations failed, the bomb disposal robot was deployed with a small explosive attached to its extension, which was then detonated in the shooter’s proximity.
“Yes, this is first use of robot in this way in policing” confirmed Singer on Twitter, though he noted that similar robots had been used frequently this way in the military.
“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” declared Dallas police chief David Brown. “Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”