MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. – Members of the Los Angeles-based Black Lives Matter movement are calling on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a civil rights investigation into an incident that occurred involving one of Google’s self-driving cars and two officers from the Mountain View Police Department last weekend.
On the morning of November 14, two Google Autonomous Vehicles were traveling south on North Shore Boulevard during a scheduled test run. The cars, one white and the other matte black, were driverless save for a human passenger riding in the white vehicle whose job it was to monitor the cars’ movements.
According to a statement released by the Mountain View Police Department, two officers on motorcycles “observed a black vehicle driving erratically in the southbound lane of N. Shore Boulevard.” Police immediately activated their emergency lights, signaling to the matte black Google car that it should pull over. Police say the driverless car “did not immediately comply,” but upon pulling over, it did so “in a threatening manner.”
Due to an apparent “feed malfunction” on both officers’ body cameras, it’s unclear exactly what transpired once the Google car had safely pulled over on the side of the road but moments later police opened fire on the autonomous vehicle, unleashing a total of eighty-one rounds into it.
Data provided by Google shows both driverless cars were traveling at the exact same speed of twenty-five miles per hour at the time of the incident. Mountain View police have not said why officers chose to pull over the black car rather than the white one. “I’d be surprised if they even noticed the white car to begin with,” said Precious Jackson, a spokeswoman for Black Lives Matter. “This just goes to show that racial profiling is no longer limited to human beings.”
The L.A.-based chapter of Black Lives Matter is hosting a candlelight vigil in honor of the matte black Google Autonomous Vehicle outside of Google’s Mountain View headquarters on Saturday, November 29th at 6 p.m., according to a statement posted on the group’s website.