NYPD Hesitant About Body Cameras After One Exploded Like Dynamite

Image: Boris Horvat / Staff (Getty Images)

An on-duty NYPD police officer’s body camera exploded during a “midnight tour” in Staten Island this past week.

The unnamed officer has good reason to be upset at the Vievu model LE5 camera he was wearing. He says it grabbed his attention when he caught a whiff of a campfire smell and noticed the camera was smoking. After he removed it, it blew up, sending plastic everywhere. A small fire erupted.

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The officer is fine, although the NYPD isn’t so happy about it and has since pulled over 2,900 Vievu units from deployment, which currently makes up around 20 percent of its police force. Those officers are no longer wearing body cameras.

The NYPD has since begun an investigation. A spokesperson shared: “The incident revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite. The cause and scope of the defect are currently being investigated.”

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New York was one of the first cities to enforce mandatory born cameras for its police force in order to capture footage of incidents. Other cities that require body cameras include Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Dallas.