Two LAPD police officers were fired in 2017 for playing Pokemon GO while on duty and a California judge has denied their reinstatement appeal.
A report by VICE notes that, according to court documents, former LAPD officers Eric Mitchell and Louis Lozano lost their jobs for “willfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer’s response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokemon mobile game while on duty.”
In April 2017, Lozano and Mitchell received instructions to assist with a robbery in progress while being stationed at the LA mall where the incident was taking place. The call was not answered by either officer. Instead, they chose to chase after a Snorlax, a rare spawn in Pokemon GO.
“For approximately the next 20 minutes, the [in-car video system] captured [Mitchell and Lozano] discussing Pokemon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones,” state the court documents. “On their way to the Snorlax location, Officer Mitchell alerted Officer Lozano ‘a Togetic just popped up’.”
Two cops were fired from the LAPD after they failed to respond to the report of a robbery and drove off to hunt a Snorlax in Pokemon Go.
They appealed and said it was not okay for squad car recordings of them to be used against their. They lost.
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The officers proceeded to capture Togetic and exclaimed — according court documents – “Holy Crap.” Mitchell stated, “The guys are going to be so jealous.” “The guys are going to be so jealous.”
After the incident, both Lozano and Mitchell denied playing Pokemon GO. They appealed on the grounds that in-car surveillance should not be used for private conversations. However, Friday, January 7, a judge ruled that it was flawed logic and denied their appeal.
Written by Kyle Campbell on behalf of GLHF.