NYPD yanks 2,000 body cameras after device explodes


The NYPD yanked 2,000 police body cameras after one of the devices exploded and caught fire in Manhattan, officials said Tuesday.

A cop in the 34th Precinct noticed smoke pouring out of the bottom of the Axon AB2 body camera that was on his jacket Monday — and when he took off the coat, the device ignited, the NYPD said in a statement.

He was taken to a hospital “out of an abundance of caution,” the statement reads.

Police sources said the cop suffered ringing to the ears because of the explosion.

“The incident revealed a potential issue with the battery inside the camera,” the NYPD said.

The NYPD pointed out that the 2,000 Axons that were pulled from use accounted for a small percentage of the 23,000 body-worn cameras deployed to its officers. The department also said it was already in the process of phasing out the older Axons for the newer model, the Axon AB3.

The statement went on to say that Police Commissioner Dermot Shea directed “the immediate examination of all Axon AB2 model cameras” after the camera fire.

Axon body camera in use by NYPD officers
The NYPD pulled 2,000 Axon AB2 body cameras out of use after the incident.
William Farrington

“Our top priority is keeping the men and women of the NYPD safe,” the statement said.

An NYPD spokesman added, “By the end of business today, Dec. 7, all Axon AB2 cameras will have been inspected. If there is any sign of an issue — the back plate bulging out — the battery and back panel is being replaced.”

The scary incident was similar to another problem in 2018 when police body cameras began igniting. Some 3,000 Vievu model LE-5 cameras were yanked from the force, cops said at the time.

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