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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

CSPD familiar with robots carrying explosives

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 11:52 AM

click to enlarge Brown: Still in court with the city. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Brown: Still in court with the city.
As I was driving home from work Monday evening, I heard a report on the Dallas police shootings on NPR. The report zeroed in on the Dallas PD's strategy to use a robot loaded with explosives to kill the cop killer, Micah Johnson.

As the NPR report noted:
This, in fact, wasn't the first time a police robot was rigged to do something it wasn't originally designed to do — say, instead of defusing a bomb, to deliver a flash or smoke grenade to incapacitate a suspect, experts say. But it was apparently the first purposeful killing of a suspect using such a rig.
It might be worth a mention at this juncture that a robot was used in such a way right here in river city in May 2012, when police tried to flush out Ronald Dwayne Brown from his condo in southeast Colorado Springs.

Police used a robot loaded with explosives to breach his home in an attempt to force Brown out. It was the first time the bomb unit had performed such an operation and had to guess at how much explosive to use, according to police reports.
click to enlarge The gash Brown suffered from the bomb robot CSPD sent into his home. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The gash Brown suffered from the bomb robot CSPD sent into his home.
We covered the incident in detail in our "Full Force" stories of 2015. (July 15, 2015)

Although the goal of the CSPD wasn't to kill Brown, the use of the explosive could have had that effect. As it was, Brown was found under a mattress in the basement, where the floor fell on him because of the explosion, in a flak jacket and helmet. He was not armed, and suffered some pretty gruesome-looking injuries, including a deep gash to his leg..

So the CSPD has been known to use robots with explosives against citizens.

For their trouble, the city is being sued in federal court by Brown, an Army veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As we also reported on our blog in April, despite efforts of the city to get the case thrown out, it's ongoing. The latest is the city has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals' 10th Circuit the federal judge's refusal to grant dismissal of the case. The plaintiff's attorney, Shimon Kohn, has also appealed the judge's refusal to grant Brown's motion for summary judgment.
So the matter is in the appeals court's hands at the moment.

Another use of force case, Officer Tyler Walker throwing 18-year-old Alexis Acker onto the floor and breaking her tooth, (captured on video), was recently settled with the city handing over $100,000 in taxpayer money to Acker. Walker, who was subject of a disciplinary action that wasn't disclosed to the public, left the department nearly a year ago.

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