LAPD Officers Fired For Ignoring Robbery To Play Pokémon Go

Two officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were fired due to, among other things, playing Pokémon Go, a newly published court document reveals (h/t Axios).

Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, beat cops with a combined 28 years on the job, were found through a 2017 investigation to have ignored a commanding officer’s request for assistance in handling an in-progress robbery at a nearby Macy’s. Rather than respond, the two left the area in the hopes of capturing Snorlaxes and Togetics in Pokémon Go.

This decision, caught by the digital in-car video system (DICVS) dash cam, as well as attempts to lie about their actions, ultimately led to the officers’ firing from the LAPD.

Reps for Lozano and Mitchell subsequently filed a petition seeking to appeal this decision, arguing that the use of the DICVS footage as part of the official investigation into their conduct violated protections on private conversations between officers. This appeal was denied on January 7, giving us an excellent sneak peek at the hilarious events as they played out in the police cruiser on that fateful day.

For approximately the next 20 minutes, the DICVS captured petitioners discussing Pokémon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones. On their way to the Snorlax location, Officer Mitchell alerted Officer Lozano that “a Togetic just popped up,” noting it was “[o]n Crenshaw, just South of 50th.” After Mitchell apparently caught the Snorlax—exclaiming, “Got ‘em”—petitioners agreed to “[g]o get the Togetic” and drove off. When their car stopped again, the DICVS recorded Mitchell saying, “Don’t run away. Don’t run away,” while Lozano described how he “buried it and ultra-balled” the Togetic before announcing, “Got him.” Mitchell advised he was “[s]till trying to catch it,” adding, “Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.” Eventually Mitchell exclaimed, “Holy Crap. Finally,” apparently in reference to capturing the Togetic, and he remarked, “The[ ] guys are going to be so jealous.” Petitioners then agreed to return to the 7-Eleven (where Sergeant Gomez later met them) to end their watch. On the way, Mitchell remarked, “I got you a new Pokémon today, dude.”

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police officers don’t have a constitutional duty to protect the public from harm, but I guess ignoring a fellow cop is a pigsty too far.

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