January 12, 2022 12:01:30 pm
A California court has upheld the firing of two officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2017 for playing Pokemon Go instead of responding to a robbery.
The court ruled on Friday that LAPD was justified in firing Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell for misconduct in 2017. A Superior Court judge denied their petition arguing that their private conversations were improperly utilised as evidence, according to the Associated Press.
The incident dates back to April 15, 2017. The former police officers’ patrol supervisor, Sergeant Jose Gomez, called them to check on a robbery in the Crenshaw area. Instead of their actual location, they put out a radio code for a different area and hid that they were near Crenshaw mall, as per USA Today.
The recordings from the squad car’s video camera validated that the officers discussed how to catch a Snorlax in the game.
The court filings, as quoted by AP, said they were heard discussing whether to respond. Lozano could be heard saying in the recordings, “Ah, s**** it.” Later, they were heard discussing the game and driving to different locations to “capture” virtual creatures, the court filings added.
They were fired on grounds of violating the public’s trust. A police board of rights unanimously ruled that their misconduct was “unprofessional and embarrassing”.
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