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Police in LA Decide to Play ‘Pokémon GO’ Rather Than Deal with a Robbery


Police in LA Decide to Play ‘Pokémon GO’ Rather Than Deal with a Robbery

Credit: Unsplash

While engaged in the activity of Pokémon GO on their mobile devices, players are reminded to be cautious of their environment and adhere to any local pedestrian regulations. Besides avoiding potential hazards, this message might also imply that one should prioritize urgent matters over game pursuits, such as responding to an ongoing robbery situation.

Officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell of the LAPD faced dismissal after deliberately neglecting an active robbery report to indulge in Pokémon GO, specifically in pursuit of capturing a Snorlax. Audio recordings retrieved from their patrol vehicle provided clear evidence of their abandonment of official duties.

“Review of the recordings revealed that at around 6:09 p.m. (shortly after Officer Lozano dismissed the need to follow up on the robbery alert), Officer Mitchell excitedly informed Lozano about a nearby Snorlax sighting at the intersection of ’46th and Leimert,’” detailed court documents initially obtained by Vice. “Subsequently, Lozano proposed altering their route through 11th and Crenshaw to reach the target. Mitchell suggested an alternative path, followed by a time-check from Mitchell, ‘We have approximately four minutes remaining.’”

“Over the subsequent 20 minutes, recordings captured the officers conversing about Pokémon as they navigated to different spots where virtual creatures were supposedly available on their devices. En route to the Snorlax discovery, Mitchell alerted Lozano to the appearance of a Togetic, located ‘on Crenshaw, just South of 50th.’ Upon Mitchell’s successful capture of the Snorlax—eliciting his victory cry, ‘I got it’—the officers agreed to pursue the Togetic sighting and drove off.”

This incident unfolded in April 2017, and recently, the ex-officers sought to contest their termination. However, the court promptly dismissed their appeal.

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