Police Officers Fired For Ignoring Thieves To Hunt Down Pokémon

 

A California appellate court has denied the requests for reinstatement of two police officers who ignored calls for backup at a nearby robbery-in-progress to go hunt for a rare Pokémon, in Niantic's smash-hit mobile game.

Officers Loius Lozano and Eric Mitchell, as reported by Vice, on April 15, 2017, were in the vicinity of an ongoing robbery at a Macy's in Crenshaw when they received urgent calls from colleagues calling for backup.

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A video system in their patrol captured the officers discussing how to catch a Snorlax and trying to capture the rare Togetic in the game when the calls came in. Instead, the officers moved from the area of the crime in order to hunt down the Pokémons.

A police captain who arrived at the scene saw another patrol car parked nearby and wondered why the officers hadn't responded until he answered it himself, court documents said.

When questioned why they failed to respond to their radio, the officers insisted they had been in a loud area and failed to hear the calls for assistance, but on the patrol car recording, they were heard discussing whether to respond and Lozano could be heard saying, "Ah, screw it."

According to court filings, the officers are then heard for the next 20 minutes discussing how to hunt the GPS-based Pokémon before driving to various locations to capture the creatures.

The LAPD officers were fired after a police board of rights unanimously ruled that the two officers committed misconduct that was "unprofessional and embarrassing" and violated the public's trust.

The officers asked a court to overturn the decision of the LAPD to fire them, arguing among other things that the recordings of their private conversations were improperly used as evidence. However, the court ruled that the LAPD was justified in firing Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell for the 2017 Misconduct.

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