Dallas police chief defends use of explosive robot

  • 12/07/2016
David Brown (Reuters)
David Brown (Reuters)

The police chief in Dallas, David Brown, has defended the use of a robot in the standoff following the deadly police shooting.

The robot was used to blow up the gunman's hideout.

It took the Dallas Police bomb squad 15 to 20 minutes to rake the department's US$151,000 bomb disposal robot with the pound of C4 explosive used to kill Micah Johnson.

Police chief David Brown was unapologetic for using the machine to kill.

"I would use any tool necessary to save our officers' lives, and I'm not ashamed to say it," he said.

"This wasn't an ethical dilemma for me - I'd do it again. I'd do it again to save our officers' lives."

But the unprecedented action by a domestic police department is a concern for Peter Asaro, from the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

"Now the idea is out there. And just like I think is the case with many of these shooters - they get inspired by other shooters," he said.

"I assume that other police departments are going to adopt these kinds of tactics."

The Montgomery County Fire Rescue Department operates one of several bomb squads in the Washington, DC area.

It has several robots that can use explosives, a water cannon, or high-powered air to disrupt suspicious devices.

Montgomery County fire chief Scott Goldstein says the robots can clearly save lives.

"They can be repaired, they can be replaced - while you can't replace a highly-experienced member of the [bomb] squad."

CBS News