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New York City suspends body cameras for corrections officers after the device caught fire

The New York City Department of Corrections is temporarily suspending the use of body-worn cameras after an employee suffered burns and smoke inhalation last week when hers suddenly caught fire.

The Rikers Island corrections officer, a captain who was not identified, was rushed to Mount Sinai on Friday when her body camera caught fire. The Department of Corrections says it has been in contact with the manufacturer of the camera to investigate the cause of the fire.

Corrections Commissioner Lynelle Maginley-Liddie said in a statement that her thoughts were with the injured officer.

“The safety of our staff is paramount, so out of an abundance of caution I am removing all body-worn cameras from service while we investigate how and why this incident occurred,” Maginley-Liddie said.

While this is a first for the Department of Corrections, it is at least the second time since 2018 that a New York City law enforcement officer has set a body camera on fire.

The NYPD suspended use of the Vievu model LE-5 body-worn camera in 2018 after an officer discovered it was smoking. According to NBC New York, the camera exploded shortly after the officer removed it from his body and no injuries were reported.

A similar incident occurred with Axon AB2 model cameras in 2021, when an officer also turned off the camera when it started smoking. Axon confirmed this during the investigation after the device reportedly overheated, NBC New York reported.

NBC News reached out to the manufacturer of the device worn by the corrections officer, but the company did not immediately respond with a request for comment.

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