2 LAPD officers who got fired in 2017 over the misconduct of ignoring a call for backup in the middle of a robbery, because they were playing Pokémon Go, got their petition denied by a Superior Court judge. Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell are the two former Los Angeles Police Department officers who were fired back in April of 2017 because they were caught on record avoiding a backup call from their captain and proceeding to discuss characters from Pokémon Go.
Initially, they denied hearing anything about the call, even though their Sergeant Jose Gomez at the time heard them respond with “No”. However, later when asked about why they did not respond, they complained about “a lot of music” and noise in the area and denied hearing any such request.
Later when in-car video footage was checked, it was found out that the two officers were aware and were discussing whether to respond to the call. At one point, Lozano is heard saying “I don’t want to be his help,” and later saying, “Aw, screw it.”
Within a few minutes, they were heard talking about ‘Snorlax’, a Pokémon Go character, when Mitchell informed Lozano that there was one, they could catch at a nearby intersection. The duo then proceeded to drive away to find the Pokémon in question, and discuss their love for the then trending augmented reality game. After a while, Mitchell once again informed Lozano that, “a Togetic just popped up” which they then continued to search for and found.
They were charged with six counts of on-duty misconduct that was “unprofessional and embarrassing” and were discharged of their duties, terminated permanently. When appealing for the court to overturn their termination, both the officers argued that the recording of their conversation was improperly used as evidence when it was unrelated and they were just “having a conversation.”
The detectives concluded that both the officers “were not being truthful”, and the decision was finally upheld by the Superior court judge who decided they were fired rightfully.