Janaury 17, 2022
Two officers with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have been fired for ignoring a robbery in progress in order to play Pokémon Go, according to recently released court documents.
According to a report by Sky News, the court documents show the men lost their appeal against “multiple counts of misconduct”—which had, in part, been based on a recording of them in their patrol car.
Indeed, LAPD records show, the digital in-car video system (DICVS) recording “captured [them] wilfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer’s response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokémon mobile phone game while on duty”.
The incident occurred on a “busy” Saturday when a call came in about a robbery with multiple suspects in progress at a Macy’s department store.
Instead of responding to the call Lozano and Mitchell—whom a commanding officer spotted in a police car “tucked back in an alley just feet away” from the Macy’s— started “to back up down the alley” away from the robbery.
In an initial investigation the officers claimed they could not hear the radio, but the commanding officer then reviewed the DICVS to “find out what they do on their average day”.
In reviewing the recording it was discovered that they had heard the radio call and agreed to ignore the officer responding to it rather than assist them.
Just minutes later, Lozano and Mitchell began talking about Pokemon Go and “for approximately the next 20 minutes, the DICVS captured [the officers] discussing Pokemon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones”.
During this period the men caught two rare Pokemon—a Snorlax and a Togetic—although it is not clear whether the suspects in the robbery were apprehended by their colleagues.
Research contact: @SkyNews