Two Los Angeles Police Department officers who ignored an ongoing robbery call so they could hunt down Snorlax in Pokemon Go will be fired, a California court has ruled.
court documents (pass through usa today) said the incident occurred in April 2017 when officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were on foot patrol. During the patrol, they received a call asking them to handle a robbery with multiple suspects at a nearby mall. But instead of coming to help, they left the scene. When asked by their sergeant that they didn’t answer the call, they claimed they didn’t hear it because there was “a lot of music” and it was “really loud” in the park they were patrolling.
Sergeant let it fall off at first, but quickly reconsidered it — after all, it’s more serious than emulating Pokemon Go on your PC. He decided to take a look at the in-car digital video system, which records the behavior of the police in the car, and that’s where the Pokemon cops went wrong: The video showed them actually parked very close to the parking lot. When the call came in, they not only heard the call, they discussed whether they should answer the call, then they said over the radio that they were in a different location to justify not responding to the backup call.
At that point, things took a turn for the worse when the matter was referred to a detective for further investigation. Detectives determined that after ignoring the phone for a few minutes, the police responded to the real priority: the appearance of a Snorlax in Pokemon Go. They then spent about 20 minutes driving around LA, talking about Pokemon, chasing Snorlax, and having Togetic in the meantime – after catching Snorlax, they agreed to get Togetic too.
It was obviously a tricky thing: Lozano “buried it and used the hyperball” Togetic, but Mitchell struggled to catch the creature, though he eventually succeeded.
“…Guys are going to be jealous,” Mitchell said after his eventual capture.
In follow-up interviews, both officers claimed they weren’t actually playing the game, just talking about it. Detectives investigating the case determined they were “dishonest”.
Following the investigation, Lozano and Mitchell admitted to failing to respond to rescue calls, but denied playing Pokemon Go while on duty and lying to cover up the truth. They admitted they had left their designated patrol area to hunt down Snorlax, but said it was part of an “extra patrol”, not a game, but a “social media activity”.
Their protests were futile: both police officers were convicted of various violations and fired. However, they appealed the dismissal, arguing that the video evidence collected in their patrol car was inadmissible and their rights were violated when their sergeant initially questioned them about the incident without a lawyer.
The court rejected those claims, leading to the current appeal, which is now also dismissed. The details are long and detailed, but the short version is that the court ruled that in-car video recordings were acceptable and properly used in the case, and that their chats with the sergeant did not violate their rights. Therefore, their termination was upheld.
It’s an interesting story, as long as you don’t think too much about the corrupting effects of even a small amount of power and the abuse it creates. Not funny, it took five years-5 years!– Let the system announce that yes, these clowns have actually been fired. However, it may not be over yet!Lawyer representing fired police officer told los angeles times They were “disappointed” with the ruling and “considered how to proceed”.