Two Los Angeles police officers who preferred to hunt Pokémon instead of hunting burglars have been fired. The cops ignored a robbery in progress when called for backup.
Two police officers fired after ignoring a robbery in progress because they preferred to play Pokémon
Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were patrolling city streets in April 2017 in search of these fantastic creatures using the famous augmented reality game installed on their phones.
When colleagues made a request for backup regarding a break-in at a department store, the two officers decided to ignore it to continue with their game, they revealed the tapes of their exchanges in their vehicle.
“Officer Mitchell alerted Lozano that ‘Snorlax,'” a Pokémon famous for its extended naps, “had just appeared,” state official documents on file for his dismissal.
About 20 minutes after the distress call, the two police officers were recorded “discussing Pokémon as they went to different locations where the virtuous creatures were visibly appearing on their phones,” the documents released last week add.
Pokémon Go, a worldwide phenomenon
The brave law enforcement officers had managed to put Snorlax away, but Togetic, another Pokémon, had given them a hard time. “Fuck, man, this is driving me crazy,” Officer Mitchell said according to transcripts.
The two cops were prosecuted for multiple misdemeanors and misconduct. They admitted to not responding to the call for help for this robbery but denied they had been playing Pokémon Go.
Claiming they had only discussed this game, they had challenged their dismissal but the appeals court did not believe their explanations and upheld the sanction on Friday.
When it was launched in 2016, Pokémon Go had sparked the enthusiasm of millions of fans around the world, but this hunt for virtual monsters had also caused some unease.