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Ocasio-Cortez slams use of robotic police dog in Bronx community

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday denounced the New York Police Department’s use of new robotic dogs designed to help officers better see their surroundings at crime scenes after one was deployed in a Bronx neighborhood.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to an article published by the New York Post that detailed the bot’s use during a home invasion in the New York borough on Tuesday.

“Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead. Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, panning the drones.

Ocasio-Cortez argued that police funding that allows for new technology like the robotic dogs would have better served the community if it had been allotted to programs for education or housing.

“Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?” she added on Twitter.

The dog-like drones are reportedly outfitted with lights and cameras to help officers see their surroundings “in real-time,” according to the New York Post. 

The “digidog” is reportedly part of a test phase for the police department and is the second to be used in the field. Another robotic dog was deployed during a shooting in Brooklyn last October, according to the Post.

“This dog is going to save lives, protect people, and protect officers and that’s our goal,” NYPD Technical Assistance Response Unit Inspector Frank Digiacomo told the outlet.

Tags access to technology Alexandria Ocaasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez robotics
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