LAPD Officers Fired For Playing Pokemon GO On Duty

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Olimar / Helsinki Kaisaniemi park / Wikimedia Commons

Two members of the Los Angeles Police Department were fired from their positions after it came out that the two had ignored robbery-in-progress calls so they could play Pokemon GO while on duty.

The two were fired in April 2017, but recent court filings show that the two tried to appeal their firing, but the California Courts of Appeal denied their appeal in January 2022.

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The officers were hunting a Snorlax when the call came in, but the two ignored it to “catch ’em all.” The Anime News Network reports that “the former officers were working as partners on a foot beat patrol on April 15, 2017. When the patrol supervisor heard a call for a robbery in progress at Crenshaw Mall, he attempted to radio Lozano and Mitchell’s unit for backup but received no response. Upon questioning, the officers lied that they had not heard the call. A digital in-car video system (DICVS) recording later revealed that not only had the unit received the call, it had been situated only a short distance from the scene of the crime.”

The report describes the incident as follows,

“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.'”

A board of rights agreed they were fired based on “multiple counts of misconduct” though the officers deny any wrongdoing.

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