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Cops Fired for Chasing Pokemon Instead of Robbers

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Pokemon Go is a cell phone game that involves driving to different locations with GPS to capture virtual creatures known as Snorlax wherever they appear.

This game distracted two police officers in Los Angeles who subsequently  didn’t respond to an emergency robbery call from Macy’s at Crenshaw Mall.

On April 15, 2017, Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, the two ex-officers, were parked in their patrol cars near to the robbery scene, but did not respond to the radio.

Active officers in a homicide crime scene rushed to the local mall for backup. Lozano and Mitchell, who were supposed to be on patrol and close to the robbery scene, continued to ignore the calls.

They denied hearing any radio calls..

The police captain, Davenport, arrived at the scene and saw the patrol car of Lozano and Mitchell, which was parked near the scene, and wondered why they hadn’t responded. 

Davenport responded to the radio call and saw the police car reverse back, so he thought they were from another unit.

Details of the case were obtained from the patrol car’s digital in-car video system (DICVS), which revealed the truth.

As captured by the DICVS, the two officers discussed the robbery call and decided not to respond. For approximately 20 minutes after ignoring the radio calls, they drove to different locations with GPS in order to catch Snorlax.

At 6 pm,  Lozano said: “screw the radio,” to check in with the communication about the robbery call. Officer Mitchell informed Lozano about the Snorlax that popped up at 46th and Leimert, as documented in official records.

After noting that Leimert doesn’t go all the way to 46th. Their conversation went further, and Lozano said, “Oh, you know what I can do? I’ll walk further to 11th and swing up to Crenshaw. I know that way I can get to it. Mitchell suggested a different route because the robbery scene was at Crenshaw and said, “We got four minutes.”

For the 20 minutes they drove to different locations, the DICVS recorded Lozano and Mitchell’s voices as they discussed Pokemon Go only, without discussing the robbery.

Their car stopped, and the DICVS recorded Mitchell’s voice saying, “Don’t run away.” “Don’t run away.”

After they successfully caught the Togetic, they returned to their watch duty.

Lozano and Mitchell lied that they were only having conversations about Pokemon Go and receiving messages from a Pokeman group  after listening to the DICVS record.

Lozano and Mitchell were charged with multiple misconducts while  on duty and were fired due to the following:

  • Failing to respond to a robbery call, and hiding the fact that they were wrong
  • Playing Pokemon Go on duty
  • Making false statements under investigation

Lozano and Mitchell petitioned the court that the means of evidence is against the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act to use car recording against them because their conversations should be considered private.

On January 7, 2022, the two former LAPD officers lost their appeals, and an LAPD media relations representative confirmed that they are no longer with the department.

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