NYPD pulls thousands of body cameras from streets after cop’s explodes

The NYPD has pulled some Vievu body cameras from the streets after an LE-5 model (similar to the LE-3 seen here) exploded on Sunday.

Andrew Burton / Techhnews

The New York Police Department removed thousands of officers’ body cameras Sunday after one cop’s exploded.

The Staten Island officer was on duty around midnight Sunday when the Vievu LE-5 camera started to smoke, the department wrote.

The cop quickly removed the device before it exploded on the ground, avoiding injury.

An investigation revealed the battery inside the camera was to blame — a defect made it ignite.

“The cause and scope of the defect are currently being investigated. 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.

There are 2,990 LE-5s in use in 16 precincts, out of a total of 15,500 body cameras in use by NYPD cops. Those equipped with the LE-4, another Vievu model, will continue to use them and officers who had the LE-5 won’t have any body camera.

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Vievu beat then-rival Taser to win the $6.4 million NYPD contract back in 2016, before Taser rebranded as Axon the following year. Axon bought Vievu in May, essentially giving it dominance over the body camera market, Bloomberg noted at the time.

Axon didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment on Sunday’s incident.

The global market for security equipment in city surveillance like body cameras topped $3 billion last year and could grow at an average annual rate of 14.6 percent from 2016 to 2021, research showed back in March.

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