Exploding Police Body-Cams: Accident, or convenient excuse to stop wearing body cams?

Police in New York have been told to stop using some of their body-worn cameras after one of them exploded.

On Saturday, a night officer noticed smoke coming out of their camera and took it off. It then exploded, the NYPD said in a statement.

It ordered officers to stop using the Vievu LE-5 camera out of “an abundance of caution”.

The force has about 3,000 of these cameras, but also has more than 10,000 other cameras that are not affected.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he wants every patrol officer to wear a body camera by the end of 2019.

Vievu won a $6.4 million (£4.9m) contract to supply body cameras to the NYPD in 2016.

“The incident revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite. The cause and scope of the defect are currently being investigated,” the NYPD said.

“There were no injuries sustained.

“The department is in the process of collecting and removing the LE-5 cameras from the commands now.”

Axon, which owns Vievu, said it was working with the NYPD to investigate the issue.

“Officer safety is of the utmost importance to Axon. We will do whatever is necessary to quickly and safely resolve this situation,” it told the news site Engadget.

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