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NYPD pulls nearly 3,000 body cameras after one explodes

The incident, in which no one was injured, "revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite," police said.
Image: A New York police vehicle
Close up of the NYPD logo on a police car.Getty Images

The New York Police Department has suspended use of almost 3,000 body cameras after one of them "exploded," according to a statement from the department.

Police said Sunday that an officer out on a midnight tour on Saturday before noticed smoke coming out of the bottom of his body camera and removed it immediately.

"After it was safely removed, the device exploded," according to the statement.

No one was injured, and the cause and scope of the defect were being investigated, police said, adding that the incident "revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite."

The police department suspended use of its nearly 3,000 Vievu model LE-5 body cameras effective immediately.

All officers with that type of camera were told to remove them immediately and to take them back to their commands, police said.

The issue did not impact officers who wear Vievu model LE-4 body-worn cameras.

There were 2,990 of the LE-5 cameras in use in 16 commands, police said. Overall, the department deploys 15,500 body-worn cameras and plans to equip all 22,000 of its patrol officers with cameras by the end of 2019.

The Chicago Police Department, another big-city department that uses thousands of body cameras, said it uses a different vendor from New York police.