June 8: Scooters littering US city streets shout at people: ‘Unlock me or I’ll call the police’

The stories of Americans calling police on people of color who are just going about their daily lives have gone viral multiple times, and prompted a national debate about everyday racism.

So one has to wonder what a Silicon Valley startup was thinking when it programmed its electric scooters to yell at people: “Unlock me to ride me, or I’ll call the police.”


A female voice from within Lime’s e-scooters shouts the threat to anyone who tries to fiddle with the rides without downloading the app and paying. The company has also set their rides to blast cartoonish robot noises so loud that heads turn on busy city streets.

The threat immediately repeats on high volume and is the first and only sound the scooter makes. The words blare after less than a minute of a person standing on and exploring the buttons of the scooters, which Lime has been dumping on sidewalks throughout the US with little warning and without government approval.