Statement from DCPI on Body Worn Camera Issue

NYPD suspends nearly 3,000 body cameras after one explodes

NYPD suspends nearly 3,000 body cameras after one explodes

Almost 3,000 body cameras are being pulled off the streets after one exploded inside a Staten Island precinct overnight, NY1 has exclusively learned.

According to the police department's statement, the incident in question is said to have taken place this past Saturday when an NYPD officer on Staten Island wearing a Vievu LE-5 body camera noticed smoke being emitted from the device. A photo of the exploding body camera, which the NY1 investigative team obtained, can be seen in the video above.

There were a total of 2,990 of the LE-5 cameras in use in 16 commands, the NYPD said.

Further investigation revealed that the battery inside of the camera ignited, the department said. Following the aforementioned explosion, all officers carrying LE-5 cameras were required to cease use and turn the cameras in. "All officers assigned LE-5 cameras were instructed to immediately remove the cameras and bring them back to their commands", the department said in its statement. It exploded after he removed it from his shirt but the officer wasn't injured, police say.

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At the beginning of the year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill, announced that by the end of 2018, all NYPD officers on patrol would be wearing a body cam. The earlier version, the LE4, is not affected by the defect.

The Chicago Police Department, another major city police department which uses thousands of body cameras, said they use a different vendor than the NYPD.

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

Main story image above: A file image of a body camera.

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