Racism in the United States has always been rampant. Still, much to the surprise of many, racism seems to be on the rise, emboldened by the peculiar tools we’ve unknowingly created to discriminate against us. Yep, racism in our modern technology exists. Our daily products and software are beyond guilty of such racism bias and it’s easy to see if you take a look. Automatic water and soap dispensers are often unable to detect darker skin tones, cameras come with calibration cards to improve pictures for those with lighter skin tones, even today’s quarantined work from homers know the struggle of how Zoom’s background features weren’t made for darker faces.

But what happens when racist technology meets the oft tumultuous culture of police enforcement?

Loading the player...

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently called out the NYPD’s new robotic dog for being discriminatory.

The New York Police Departments’ blue and black robotic canine, weighs nearly 70 pounds, and is decked out with lights, two-way communication, and video cameras.

The robotic canine can is capable of climbing stairs and running about three-and-a-half miles an hour. According to the New York Post, it is getting a test run by the NYPD Technical Assistance Unit. Called the Digidog, the robotic dog was got its first test run as a crime-fighting weapon when it was deployed by NYPD to a home invasion emergency in the Bronx.

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

The Bronx Democrat accused the NYPD of using money and technology to produce the robot that could have been put to better use.

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

Last week’s test comes after the police tested the robotic gadgets in Brooklyn last October to recover a gunman hiding in a basement.