LAPD officers went on a Pokémon search, Instead of responding to a heist
According to a newly released court document (h/t Axios), two LAPD officers were dismissed for playing Pokémon Go.
An inquiry concluded that beat officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell rejected a superior officer’s call for help in resolving an ongoing robbery at a neighbouring Macy’s. Rather than reply, they departed to catch Snorlaxes and Togetics in Pokémon Go. This judgement, captured on the DICVS dash cam, and attempts to lie about their actions resulted to the officers’ termination from the LAPD.
Reps for Lozano and Mitchell then filed an appeal petition, claiming that using DICVS film as part of the official inquiry into their actions violated officer-to-officer privacy rights. This appeal was dismissed on January 7, providing us a funny glimpse into the happenings in the police vehicle that fateful day.
For approximately the next 20 minutes, the DICVS captured petitioners discussing Pokémon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones. On their way to the Snorlax location, Officer Mitchell alerted Officer Lozano that “a Togetic just popped up,” noting it was “[o]n Crenshaw, just South of 50th.” After Mitchell apparently caught the Snorlax—exclaiming, “Got ‘em”—petitioners agreed to “[g]o get the Togetic” and drove off. When their car stopped again, the DICVS recorded Mitchell saying, “Don’t run away. Don’t run away,” while Lozano described how he “buried it and ultra-balled” the Togetic before announcing, “Got him.” Mitchell advised he was “[s]till trying to catch it,” adding, “Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.” Eventually Mitchell exclaimed, “Holy Crap. Finally,” apparently in reference to capturing the Togetic, and he remarked, “The[ ] guys are going to be so jealous.” Petitioners then agreed to return to the 7-Eleven (where Sergeant Gomez later met them) to end their watch. On the way, Mitchell remarked, “I got you a new Pokémon today, dude.”
The US Supreme Court determined in 2005 that police officers do not have a constitutional obligation to safeguard the public.