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NYC Brings Back Controversial Digidog and Other High-Tech Police Weapons

HeadlineApr 12, 2023

In New York City, rights advocates are sounding the alarm after Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday the police department will start deploying new high-tech devices, including two robots and a GPS tracker for stolen cars. This includes the infamous “digidog,” which will allegedly be used in life-threatening situations such as bomb threats. Plans for deploying the robotic dog were scrapped in 2021 under then-Mayor de Blasio following community outcry. The city spent $750,000 of asset forfeiture funds to acquire the digidogs from Boston Dynamics. The NYPD and Mayor Adams, a former police captain, unveiled the new technology during a high-profile press event in Times Square Tuesday, with Adams announcing, “Digidog is out of the pound.” In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union said, “Spending mass amounts of money on new policing toys for the NYPD is not a serious response to public safety concerns. We should be investing in more housing, better schools, and increased jobs — not invasive surveillance technology for law enforcement.” Earlier this year, State Senators Jabari Brisport and Julia Salazar introduced legislation that would ban police from using robots.

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