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Court upholds firing of LAPD officers who ignored robbery report to play Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go
Posted at 1:09 PM, Jan 11, 2022

A California appellate court has upheld the firings of two Los Angeles Police Department officers who officials say ignored a report of a nearby robbery and instead chose to play Pokemon Go.

In court documents released Friday, the court ruled against former LAPD officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, who had challenged the department's decision to fire them in 2017.

According to the documents, Lozano and Mitchell were in a patrol car discussing Pokemon Go when a report came in about a robbery at a Macy's in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles.

The documents say a camera in the patrol car recorded their conversation.

"It's up to you. Whatever you think. I don't want them to think we're not paying attention to the radio," Mitchell said.

"Aw, screw it," Lozano said.

According to NBC News, the officers spent the next 20 minutes discussing the augmented-reality cell phone game where players travel to real-life areas to capture virtual creatures. The documents say the pair discussed how to catch a Snorlax during their shift.

Lozano and Mitchell were later fired following a unanimous verdict by the LAPD's Board of Rights. The pair later appealed, arguing that the recording device in the car was running unlawfully and that it should not have been used as evidence in their firing.

The state court's ruling upheld a previous Los Angeles court ruling, which found their firing to be lawful.