AOC Slams NYPD’s $75,000 Robotic Police Dog Named Digidog As Racist


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has denounced the NYPD’s new crime-fighting robot dog, appearing to accuse the department of racism for deploying the device for testing in only low-income communities of color.

The Democratic firebrand blasted the police department’s four-legged ‘Digidog’ in a succession of Thursday tweets, two days after the cyber hound was filmed responding to a home invasion in her home borough of the Bronx.

‘Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead,’ she wrote.

‘Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools.’

Ocasio-Cortez then argued that police funding that allows for new technology like the Digidog 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 in a follow-up tweet.

Digidog, which was designed by Boston Dynamics and has a starting price of around $75,000, joined the NYPD last year.

The blue and black rover, which weighs approximately 70 pounds, is equipped with lights, two-way communication, and video cameras, the department said.

The robot is fitted with cameras to search an area and send back real-time footage and is powered by artificial intelligence to navigate on its own.

The cyber canine can also climb stairs, see in the dark, and run at about three-and-a-half miles an hour. It was designed for emergency situations that would otherwise be too dangerous for human officers.

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Digidog is currently being tested by the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit, which deployed it at a home invasion and barricade situation on East 227th Street near White Plains Road in Wakefield on Tuesday.

Two men were reportedly being held hostage in a Bronx apartment. They had been threatened at gun point, tied up and tortured for hours by two male assailants who pretended to be plumbers to gain access to the home.

One of the victims managed to escape and called the police.

Digidog was deployed and helped officers determine that the armed suspects were no longer inside the home.

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The police said they were still searching for the two men, who stole a cellphone and $2,000 in cash and used a hot iron to burn one of the victims.

Digidog was also previously deployed in Brooklyn in October to help find a gunman hiding in a basement, and was also used in a hostage situation in Queens the following month.

The robotic dog is also currently being used by the Massachusetts State Police and the Honolulu Police Department.

‘The N.Y.P.D. has been using robots since the 1970s to save lives in hostage situations & hazmat incidents,’ the department tweeted last week. ‘This model of robot is being tested to evaluate its capabilities against other models in use by our emergency service unit and bomb squad.’

However, Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only person to criticize the NYPD’s newest robotic gadget.

New York City Council passed the Public Ov… (Read more)

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