A pair of Los Angeles police officers have been fired because they ignored a robbery in progress in order to catch a Snorlax in Pokemon Go, as reported by Vice.
Court documents posted last Friday detailed their appeal to have the City of Los Angeles’ decision to have their employment terminated reversed. Former officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were found to be guilty on multiple counts of misconduct, the evidence of such being captured from their digital in-car video system (DICVS). The recording found the former officers “willfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer’s response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokemon mobile phone game while on duty.” Their appeal was based on the fact the “City proceeded in a manner contrary to the law by using the DICVS recording in their disciplinary proceeding and by denying them the protections of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.” They lost the appeal.
The incident intially took place in April 2017, at a Macy’s at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw Mall. The court records state that a patrol supervisor called Lozano and Mitchell to respond to the robbery. A Captain had claimed to see their vehicle nearby, but assumed they were from another unit when they didn’t respond to the call.
It was discovered through the DICVS recording they had in fact discussed the call, deciding to ignore it to go after a Snorlax in Pokemon Go instead. Lozano and Mitchell made no attempt to make contact regarding the robbery. The court records also show that on their way to the Snorlax, they noted that a Togetic had popped up in the game. As well as that, Lozano and Mitchell were reported to have lied about whether they were actually playing the game or not, and also claimed that it isn’t actually a game but more of a “social media event.” Both ended up admitting that they did leave the foot beat area because they were “chasing this mythical creature.”